With the regular season over, it’s time for players around the league to be evaluated for their effectiveness and their value to a team. We’ll be doing the same thing throughout the month of May, and we’d love to hear your opinions on our grading.
We’ll travel through the team in numerical order this year and we’ll hit every individual that was on the roster as of Saturday April 27; the official end of the Stars season.
Jamie Benn has long been one of the most significant members of the Dallas Stars roster, and this year was no different. Benn led the team in points and led the team in goal-scoring with Loui Eriksson, despite holding the highest negative in plus/minus on the team with a minus 12.
The 23-year-old Canadian made the beginning of the season interesting for Stars fans when negotiations regarding Benn’s new contract seemed to stall. On January 24, the two agreed to a five-year, $26.25 million contract, but the lapse left Benn off the Stars roster for the first four games of the season.
Benn scored 12 goals during the short season and led the team in assists with 21, putting him in a position to set record-bests in both categories had the season gone the full 82 games. Benn led the team in game-winners with three, and sat atop the roster tied with Eric Nystrom and Eriksson. He was also headed toward breaking a personal best in penalty minutes, spending a total of 40 minutes in 41 games in the sin bin.
Alongside Ray Whitney, Stephane Robidas and Eriksson, Benn shouldered the responsibility of leadership that comes with wearing the big “A,” especially following the absence of former captain Brenden Morrow. Fans have long anticipated big things for Benn, and many called for his appointment as team captain as soon as Morrow set foot on the plane to Pittsburgh. Perhaps that honor will be bestowed upon Benn next season. And if it does, he’s sure to rise to the occasion.
For his ability to lead the Stars in various areas this season and to continue to thrive as a member of the organization, and despite his holding the worst spot in plus/minus on the team, I give Jamie Benn an A for the 2012-2013 season.
Goal scoring: A
On-ice presence and performance: A