Last Saturday was the best piece of hockey theatre that the Stars have conjured on the 2023 side of the season. The top of the division was uncertain as Minnesota and Colorado got healthy and surged to the top, the Stars and Jets are starting to wain as the lengthy season wears them down. After a tough stretch, the Stars needed to come out and show everyone that they deserved to be at the top by staving off the streaking Avs. But someone wasn’t there that should have been, Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi.
Early colossal hits from Benn, Hakanpaa, and newly acquired Max Domi proved to set the tone of a 7-3 handling of the Avalanche as they melted in the Dallas and signaled the Spring Equinox. The Stars reminded everyone of what got them to the top of the division.
A microcosm of the team’s resurgence this year, Captain Jamie Benn was celebrated for surpassing 1000 games to get the game underway. As the meaningless final seconds of Bruins-Rangers drained out on the ABC feed, Benn was handed a Silver Stick, a brand new locker room-sponsored Rolex, and a Silver plaque to commemorate the feat.
It was truly a special moment to look back on over 1000 games, over 800 points, and countless impressions on those within the organization as testified by their video tributes. Everyone important to Jamie was present or sounded off on the importance of the Franchise’s longest-tenured captain. There was just one more person that should have been present for this, who casts more and more of a shadow on the organization as time marches on.
DSE Hockey Club President and CEO Brad Alberts handed Jamie his plaque, and GM Jim Nill gave up the Silver Stick, but owner Tom Gaglardi must’ve only had well wishes to deliver the Stars Captain. It feels particularly ungrateful for the Owner and Governor to be as dismissive with his time as he is, especially given his list of demands otherwise.
Tom Gaglardi is more than happy to notify the Vancouver media that he expects more from the Dallas media, or have Jim Lites sacrifice his reputation to scream at reporters, or even hop on a podcast to whine about how his highest-paid players aren’t playing up to their billing. The amount of negativity provided to the headlines far outweighs the positivity.
It’s not just the presence of bad, it’s the absence of good. Relative to the metroplex, Gaglardi lands on the tamer side of the bunch. Jerry Jones’ fault is that he cares too much, similar can be said about Marc Cuban. Their involvement in their teams’ processes cannot be questioned and even Ray Davis has stepped up for the Rangers since Chris Young took over as GM. At this point, I longed for the days when I didn’t really know who sat in the ownership seat of this team.
I wouldn’t care for the disappearing act and hermetic behavior if it weren’t for the random headlines and hypocrisy. The demand for results is evident based on past quotes, but the division of interests between Dallas and Kamloops looms larger. The race for qualifying rookie out of camp between Wyatt Johnston and Logan Stankoven was over before it started since Kamloops is hosting the Memorial Cup this year.
It would be significantly more profitable for the Blazers to have a talent like Stankoven lighting the lamp, despite his readiness to take the next step, and potentially win the tourney on home ice. Coincidentally, a Kamloops Blazer has also been drafted by the Dallas Stars in 4 of their last 6 drafts.
The answer here is not for Gaglardi to stop complaining or attend every event that the Stars hold, but it lies somewhere in between. Saad Yousuf put it best on the 96.7 The Ticket last month, “if you want to be Jerry [Jones], be Jerry.” People pay attention to what Jerry has to say about the Cowboys because he’s involved with every step in the process. To cultivate a fan base that cares what you have to say, you have to be there through thick and thin. Instead, Tom is crossing over from the boy who cried wolf, to the emperor wearing no clothes.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who owns the team or what they say. As long as everyone from Brad Alberts down to Matt Murray allows it to remain in the locker room, I trust the immediate future of our hometown team. If anything should be taken away from his continued absence, it’s that Tom Gaglardi is at the bottom of the list when it comes to Franchise Owners with valid opinions in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Accordingly, local media would do well to bury his comments the next time he complains about the team that he pays for.