Hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend and are ready to survive the short week ahead!
This report card is focusing on the next guy in line: your captain, #14 Jamie Benn:
Jamie Benn entered this season with a big C on his shoulder for the first time and was expected to have a breakout season while being an effective leader. And he did not disappoint in the slightest.
Jamie Benn began his first season as Captain this past year and made sure he lived up to his newfound title. The 24 year old found himself breaking his own as well as Dallas Stars organization record’s left and right this season. He played in 81/82 games, only missing the last game of the season as a healthy scratch to keep his legs ready for the postseason that Dallas had acquired two days before. So he’s pretty reliable on playing when he is needed. He posted an incredible stat line, scoring a career high 34 goals and tallying a career high 45 assists. He skated on the first line (where else would he go?) the entire year, with his partner in crime Tyler Seguin and the Russian dude Val Nichushkin, with a little bit of Alex Chiasson and Erik Cole. This was a truly fantastic season for Benn, and Seguin seemed to be his saving grace. The two became one of the most well known dynamic duos this year in the NHL and they will be feared to go up against in the years to come. He skated first line on shorthanded and on the power play where he and Seguin trounced many a goalie.
His playoff stats have a similar ring to his regular season stats.
Jamie Benn’s postseason numbers were rather impressive as well. He once again found himself on the first line for all 6 games. He scored 4 goals and tallied 1 assist in his first ever playoff series, one of the goals being the Game 3 game winner. He performed as many expected him to and made Anaheim’s 6 game series difficult. He included his regular physicality in his playoff games including the crushing blow he delivered to Corey Perry which resulted in Perry going to the box for retaliating with a spear to Benn’s boys (trying to keep it G rated).
Overall grade for season and playoffs: A+
Benn sat out for the first 5 games of the lockout season in 2012-13 due to unsettled contract negotiations. He and the organization agreed to a 5 year deal (which means that he now has 3 years left) with a $5,250,000 salary increasing in 2015-16 to $5,750,000 and a cap hit of $5,250,000. Benn is a UFA after the 2016-17 season, but that’s a long way away so no need to worry. He will probably earn an extension, but that is probably another season or two down the road as well.
In my opinion:
Should I even have an opinion, or is it the same as everyone else’s? Do nothing with Benn. He is the perfect leader for the Stars right now and is one of if not THE most valuable LW in the league. Plus, with he and Seguin crushing every team’s defense, the cakewalk to scoring goals could never be easier for the top line. Keep Benn (duh) and give him an extension when you can. The physicality and skill mix is hard to find in the NHL today and he possesses both these traits and in large sums. He is not afraid to use either and is necessary for the Stars success.
The bottom line on Jamie Benn:
Jamie came to Big D in the 5th, lemme repeat that, 5TH ROUND, of the 2007 NHL entry draft. It must suck to be one of the 29 teams who passed him up and left him for pick 129. He stepped into a major role at the beginning of the season by taking the role of Captain and leading this Stars squad at the ripe old age of 24. He is the heart and soul of the Dallas Stars and is the love of the organization and the fans. There is no need to do anything with him this offseason, unless the Captain thing works like in the Army and they can promote him to Staff Sergeant Captain or something to that effect. He will be the key to this franchise’s success in the coming years and therefore they must keep him in Texas for a long time. This Modano-like figure will not disappoint. Keep him here and do nothing besides keep him entertained and content with the Stars. Case closed.
The Stars are in the right ballpark (arena?) for attempting a Cup run. They will need some additions this offseason if they are looking to go ALL THE WAY instead of a first round exit (am I getting too greedy?). Jamie will be the key to getting us there and along with his partner Mr. Seguin, they could get there quicker than you think, I mean look what they did in just the inaugural season. Keep him around, Jim. He’s worth every penny.
Comments are welcome below. Go Stars