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.
Dallas Stars president Jim Lites says the hiring of Mike Modano isn’t a matter of if — it’s a matter of when.
“Mike will do whatever we want; I just want to make sure we use him effectively. I want to make sure he is comfortable with what he is doing and it is substantive,” Lites told ESPN Dallas. “So what we want to do with Mo is get him comfortable and know what he wants to do because if we have him do things he is not comfortable doing, it will fail and that won’t be good. We hopeful and we’re getting closer.”
Modano retired in September after 21 NHL seasons. Since then, he’s met with Lites and new Stars owner Tom Gaglardi, who discussed Modano joining the organization when he took over the team last month.
“The guy is the most important player I think to ever have worn a Stars jersey,” Gaglardi said. “In my opinion, he’s the best American-born hockey player to ever play in the NHL. I’ve gotten to know Mike in the last little while and enjoyed my time with him.
“I’ve expressed an interest that I’d like to have him involved in some capacity with the Dallas Stars and Mike has expressed the same thing to me.”
The ESPN report says Modano likely will join the team on the “business side” of things.
Since “business side” is kind of vague, I should point out Mikey Mo has spent a good chunk of his retirement playing golf and screwing around on Twitter. If he has to submit a resume, here’s hoping this picture adorns his CV.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Paul Maurice’s hot seat got a bit warmer in Carolina after losing to Ottawa. (News & Observer)
Randy Carlyle said his team looked, “dead between the ears” in losing to Toronto. He might be a dead man walking if the Ducks don’t wake up. (NHL.com)
Oh sure thing Terry Murray, we all believe Trent Hunter is a first line player for the Kings. Yikes. (L.A. Kings Insider)
In non-coaching news, Zdeno Chara is also becoming quite the offensive defenseman too. (CSNNE.com)
The Caps are really hoping a homestand can fix their ills. They’d better hope so. (CSNWashington.com)
After scoring more than 30 goals last year, Drew Stafford’s season isn’t going so hot this time. (Buffalo News)
Jim Lites is more than pleased with being back running things in Dallas. (Stars)
Stefan Elliott is hoping his big debut turns into him sticking around in Colorado. (All Things Avs)
Francis Bouillon’s groin is forcing him out of action and back to Nashville for repairs. (Tennessean)
The BCHL is trying out 3-on-3 overtime. Is the NHL watching how it goes to see if it can solve the shootout conundrum? (All Habs)
Finally, have a look at Toronto’s Matt Frattin bouncing off of former Leafs defenseman Francois Beauchemin. Frattin obviously hit the combo breaker on that hit. (NHL)