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The move of relieving Doug Armstrong of his GM duties came as a surprise to many, and the Stars players were no different. Anytime a tough decision like this is made, it affects the team in many different ways.
“It’s a real day; it’s a sad day,” said captain Brenden Morrow
. “Maybe it’s what we need to get a spark under us.”
“It’s a very surreal day to think about anybody losing their job when you have affected it,” added Marty Turco. “And most recently, we talked it over as players. It’s things we’ve been doing as players that directly or indirectly caused this. Who knows, really?
“It’s certainly a sad day for as long as he’s been here, as a person in the organization, the things he’s seen since this organization has moved cities, built up, and championships. It’s a very sad, surreal day.”
For players like Mike Modano, who is one of the few that was around for all of Armstrong’s 17 years with the team, changes like this hit home.
“Change is tough as you get older, because you get used to a ritual and a routine,” said Mike Modano. “You get really used to familiar faces around here, because you’ve worked through good times and bad. I’ve had those share of people come and go, but in that same sense a lot of players come and go that I thought shouldn’t have went anywhere. It’s a business thing. You do what’s best at the time for the team and for the long run.
“Considering our situation being up and down for most of the season. Your expectations are so high as an organization and what we’ve built around here. Since we’ve been down here it has been tradition, and we have become accustomed to winning. That is something that’s always a part of this team. However you do it, or however you acquire that, those are the choices as a GM. You try to get the best out of everybody.”
And the team still believes that is can win.
“We all still believe in this team,” said Morrow. “There is not one guy that is not on board with this team. For some reason, we just haven’t gotten the job done. We’re a lot better hockey team than we show, and we all know that. We just can’t find ourselves right now. A shake up was going to happen, but no one really knew what it was going to be. We are still here, and we need to control what we can and that’s taking care of our hockey games. It starts tomorrow.”
The players know that they need to step it up and get this hockey club back to winning on a consistent basis.
“Well I can’t see how changing management won’t change things, because it will change them dramatically,” said Turco. “Apparently little messages and conversations just weren’t enough. Like I said, for him to believe in us after what happened this morning sends a message to your heart.
“Were pretty much done with the wake up calls, now its time to pony-up.”