Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites ripped captain Jamie Benn and fellow high-priced forward Tyler Seguin, telling reporters their play has been "terrible" and saying owner Tom Gaglardi was frustrated as well.
Lites requested the interviews Friday, saying he believed Seguin and Benn deserved more public criticism with a team Lites says is underachieving.
The longtime Stars executive told The Athletic that Dallas would be in danger of missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 seasons without better play from Benn and Seguin. Lites told The Dallas Morning News both players "think it's easy, and that's what bothers me."
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Benn signed an eight-year, $76 million contract in July 2016, and Seguin signed an eight-year, $79 million deal before this season. Benn leads the team with 15 goals and Seguin leads with 21 assists, but both are further down the list of NHL scoring leaders than usual.
Both players said they needed to improve after being told Lites was critical of them.