Monday afternoon, Nashville Predators general manager David Poile addressed members of the local media via a conference call to respond to two issues: 1) Comments about the Nashville organization made by Dallas Stars president Jim Lites in Monday's Dallas Morning News, and 2) the five-game suspension to Predators forward Jordin Tootoo that the NHL announced Monday afternoon.
Lites was quoted in the Dallas newspaper criticizing the Predators organization for having "failed the game" by not offering in-arena recognition of Stars forward Mike Modano's record-setting 503rd goal during Saturday night's Stars-Predators game in Nashville. That goal, which came at 17:08 of the third period, made Modano the top U.S.-born goal scorer in league history.
"Their owner, management, public relations people, coaching staff - I think they all failed the game," Lites was quoted as saying in Monday's edition of the Dallas Morning News. "It's because of people like Mike Modano that they even have a team in Nashville. He has helped pioneer the game in the South, and for him to be treated like that in a milestone moment it's just a horrible thing."
Lites was also quoted in the paper as saying, "I understand it's a competitive situation, but we're also working together to sell the game. They get more money from revenue sharing than any team in the league, they voted against the new schedule because they wanted to have an easier schedule for themselves. They take and take and take and take and never give back, and I'm sick of it."
In his media conference call, Poile responded to those comments and reacted to the suspension of Tootoo, who punched on-rushing Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas in self-defense after delivering a solid check on Modano in the third period of Saturday's game.
Click here to listen to Poile's comments (Streaming Windows Media audio, duration: 10:23).