Dallas Stars President and CEO Jim Lites is shouldering the weight of a scheduling glitch regarding start times for Stars’ home games this season.
Dallas originally announced its games would start at 7 p.m. local time, a half-hour earlier than their previous 7:30 puck drops. Lites was at the forefront of the time change, and that’s where Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News picks things up:
[Lites] said he was very excited about 7 p.m. starts, talked to key people, and felt that was the best way to go about things. However, he said in the past month he has heard from broadcast rights holders, building officials, and fans, and there was a real push for the the 7:30 p.m. (or 7:35 technically) starts.
“I take full credit or blame,” Lites said. “It seemed like a great idea at the time, but then when the announcement was made and we heard from many groups who had problems with the change. First of all, the building people like the synergy of the same start time for the Mavericks and ourselves.
“I think you’ll look back and see the Mavericks switched their start times in the past, and then decided to go back to 7:30 because it didn’t work for them. In addition, Fox I believe likes the later start, and so does our radio partner (1310 The Ticket). And, most important, we heard from a lot of fans who said that it would be a problem getting to a weeknight game by 7 p.m., so we decided to switch.”
The decision means 21 of Dallas’ weeknight home games have been switched back to 7:30pm start times, including the home opener against Phoenix on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Five weeknight home games are still scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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