FRISCO, Texas — Longtime Dallas Stars executive Jim Lites is transitioning from his role as CEO to chairman, a move that will lessen his day-to-day duties with the team.
The Stars announced the move Friday. Brad Alberts, the Stars president since March 2018, will remain in that role while also adding the CEO title and responsibilities.
Lites had two previous stints with the Stars (1993-02 and 2003-07), and was the team president when they won the Stanley Cup in 1999, and went back in the championship series the following season. He returned as a president and CEO in November 2011 after new owner Tom Gaglardi bought the team.
As chairman of the Dallas Stars, Lites will serve as an advisor and provide counsel to Alberts. He will continue to chair the team’s ownership advisory group.
“This organization means the world to me and my family. I’m thrilled to remain active in advising the leaders of the Stars, as well as expanding the various business initiatives that the Gaglardi family has outside of the hockey world,” Lites said in a statement. “I’ve had the pleasure to both mentor Brad, as well as partner with him, for over two decades. I know he is ready for this challenge.”
In December 2018, Lites went on expletive-laden rants criticizing high-priced forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. He also used words such as “terrible” and “embarrassing” while saying Benn, the captain, and Seguin were playing poorly for a team underachieving in the Western Conference. The NHL players’ union called the comments “reckless and insulting.”
Lites said then that Gaglardi also was frustrated with the play of Seguin and Benn and concerned that a team with high expectations was in danger of missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 seasons. The Stars did make the playoffs as a wild card that season, and made it to the second round before losing a deciding Game 7 in double overtime against the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.