Dallas Stars: Jim Lites Goes On Tirade About Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 6: Tyler Seguin #91 of the Dallas Stars and Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars prepare for a face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 6, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 6: Tyler Seguin #91 of the Dallas Stars and Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars prepare for a face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 6, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images) /

A news bomb was dropped in the Dallas Stars world on Friday afternoon when team CEO Jim Lites tore into Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin about their lacking play this season. His in-detailed response wasn’t a short one, either.

The Dallas Stars organization is not usually known for unceremoniously taking the hockey news world by storm. Besides signing Tyler Seguin to a massive extension in September 2018 and Jamie Benn winning the Art Ross Trophy in the dying seconds of game 82 back in 2015, there haven’t been many other major newsworthy instances in the last five years of this franchise, right?

That all changed on Friday afternoon when Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites publicly ripped the team’s two biggest superstars (which happens to be the two mentioned in the last paragraph, surprisingly enough) in front of the media.

Lites requested an interview with a handful of Stars media members following the team’s practice on Friday in order to publicly voice his concerns. And when he did, he refrained from putting it delicately.

“They are f-ing horse-s-, I don’t know how else to put it,” Lites told Sean Shapiro of The Athletic during the media scrum. “The team was ok. But (Tyler) Seguin and (Jamie) Benn were terrible,” he added about their performances against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

More from Blackout Dallas

“We are a stars-driven league, and our stars aren’t getting it done,” Lites told Shapiro. “It’s embarrassing, and no one writes it. Write it!

“But for me, it’s pissed me off, what nobody says is what is completely obvious to me: We are getting terrible play from our top two players,” Lites added to Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News.

There’s no denying that Benn and Seguin are the Stars’ two best players. Since the duo formed following the trade for Seguin in July 2013, there’s been nothing but chemistry and consistent scoring from no. 14 and no. 91. From 2013-14 to 2017-18, Benn was third in the NHL in points with 403 points in 404 games; Seguin, on the other hand, sat sixth with 384 points in 387 games.

But so far in 2018-19, the two have sunk in the league ranks. While the two still lead the Stars in scoring, Seguin sits 57th in the NHL with 32 points in 38 games, while Benn sits 67th with 30 points in 38 games. That’s not a great look for Benn, who is set to make an AAV of $9.5 million through the 2024-25 season, or Seguin, whose eight-year extension worth an AAV of $9.85 million will kick in next year.

The entire Dallas offense has been stuck in an unfamiliar rut this year. After consecutive years of residing in the top 20 in NHL scoring, the Stars currently sit 27th in goals per game with a mark of 2.66. That might be due to a new coaching style or could be due to the Stars’ lack of second-line scoring; but to Lites, it all starts with the superstar duo.

“If 14 and 91 don’t lead, we will not be successful,” Lites told DeFranks. “I think this is the most talented and deep team we’ve had in years here. Certainly, this is the best team that we’ve put together from a talent perspective since Tom Gaglardi’s owned the franchise. Tom has allowed us to do everything we needed to do to be successful. Whatever it’s taken, he’s done. And I am tired of getting emails from him saying ‘What the hell is going on with our best players?'”

Live Feed

2023 team report cards: Dallas Stars fall short of Cup Final
2023 team report cards: Dallas Stars fall short of Cup Final /

Puck Prose

  • What comes next for the Dallas Stars after Western Conference Final exit?Puck Prose
  • Detroit Red Wings fans react to Jamie Benn's heinous cross-checkOctopus Thrower
  • Vegas Golden Knights dominate Dallas Stars in game threePuck Prose
  • Fifty Shades Of Lame- Kraken Lose Game 4Kraken Chronicle
  • Where does Jamie Benn rank amongst Dallas Stars greats?Sports Dallas Fort-Worth
  • This story quickly sparked the hockey world to life on Friday afternoon, with stories popping up all across the Internet. And for Stars fans, it started a fierce debate of whether Lites was in the right or wrong.

    Gaglardi stated that he was aware of Lites’s plan to talk to the media and backed the CEO. Stars fans, on the other hand, had various stances on it.

    A handful sided with Lites, pointing out that Seguin and Benn were not living up to the massive extensions they both recently signed. A good team is propelled by its best players, and Dallas isn’t getting any sort of propulsion from the duo on the top line.

    Others jumped to the defense of Benn and Seguin, pointing out that the struggling offense is more so due to poor drafting and free agency moves by management. No. 14 and no. 91 are not the problem; rather, they seem to be the only solution in terms of scoring.

    Some thought that it should have been dealt with in-house instead of in front of the media for the whole hockey universe to see. Lites had a response ready for this, stating that he was tired of seeing writers and bloggers go on about other Stars players while avoiding talking about the struggling superstars.

    “The owner and I see this the same way,” Lites said to DeFranks. “We expect our best players to perform like other team’s best players, to be accountable, to have attention to detail, to have responsibility on the ice and off and get the job done for us. And it’s not getting done. Game in, game out, the best players on other teams are outplaying the best players on our team.”

    Live Feed

    The Chicago Blackhawks Should Acquire Taylor Hall from the Boston Bruins
    The Chicago Blackhawks Should Acquire Taylor Hall from the Boston Bruins /

    Blackhawk Up

  • 2023 team report cards: Dallas Stars fall short of Cup FinalPuck Prose
  • NHL best bets today (Bet this Tyler Seguin prop for Game 6)FanSided
  • Sleeping in Seattle-Kraken Sleepwalk Through Game 2Kraken Chronicle
  • Boston Bruins Recap: Chemistry Lab Line Explodes for Bs WinCauseway Crowd
  • Blackhawks: Trading for Tyler SeguinBlackhawk Up
  • Both sides of the argument have valid points to be made, but there’s plenty of debates to be had about whether this was the right way to solve a problem. The Stars currently sit in the second wild card spot after a big win in Nashville last night and could be in the top three of the Central division by New Year’s Day. They are very much alive in the playoff race still and look like a postseason contender as they continue to get healthier. But will putting the team’s two biggest forwards through the ringer solve some internal problems or simply create more that could have lasting effects?

    “These guys have been great players, but we are 40 games into this season and they aren’t getting it done,” Lites told Shapiro. “We are going to sleepwalk to another 14th place from the bottom and miss the playoffs.”

    Both Benn and Seguin stated after practice on Friday that they need to be better if the team is going to continue moving in the right direction.

    “Not good enough,” Seguin told Shapiro. “I’ve got to play better. I’m trying to do a job, and I haven’t had the right results.”

    “I think it’s pretty self-explanatory; if this team wants to get to the next level that starts with myself,” Benn said to Shapiro. “And that’s exactly what needs to happen, we need to get better.”

    The Stars are entering a critical stretch of their season where they will play 10 of their next 13 contests at home. They have been dominant at the American Airlines Center this season and now have a chance to build some momentum and gain significant ground in the playoff race. That all starts with a full-team effort, which is most easily kickstarted by their top players. The question is whether this callout becomes a solution or a toxin.

    Stars' Chances At Finishing 2018 On A Strong Note. dark. Next

    It’s a strange situation and is unlike anything we’ve witnessed in the Dallas sports world in a long time. And where it takes Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and the Dallas Stars from here is anyone’s guess.