Hope everyone is enjoying their Wednesday! And hope y’all are all voting in my polls! I’m looking for your feedback and loving how some of you are agreeing with me and some of you are going your own way! Show me your opinion!
Well, LA has almost closed it out and taken Lord Stanley. And with that, the offseason is approaching quicker than expected! But nothing major can happen until July 1st, so we’re good.
The next report card is on #24, the Captain’s brother himself, Jordie Benn:
Jordie Benn has played for the Stars for the past 3 seasons. He has slowly updated his play and is turning into a quality defenseman. This past season was a perfect example of this:
Jordie Benn mainly played for the Texas Stars and filled in on the Dallas Stars’ defense during the lockout season. During his time in Big D, he scored 1 goal and pulled 5 assists out of 26/48 games. But that was where he was still a youngling learning the ropes at the age of 25. He mainly filled in for injuries, considering the Stars were already set on their defensive strategy with Trevor Daley, Alex Goligoski, Stephane Robidas, Brenden Dillon, and Philip Larsen, with Aaron Rome and Jamie Oleksiak sharing the 6th spot along with Benn.
This season was a different story for the rookie’s first FULL 82 game stint in Dallas. Benn mainly partnered up with Sergei Gonchar and Brenden Dillon. He played 78 of a possible 82 games in the 2013-14 regular season. He netted 3 goals on the year along with 17 assists on an average of 19 minutes on the ice per night.
Now some may be feeling that these numbers are straight up AWFUL and that Benn should get his bags packed on a one way trip to Anywherelseville, Mother Earth. But I’m here to tell you they ARE NOT bad statistics. Now you’re saying, “But Josh, how come these statistics are acceptable, yet Ray Whitney and Shawn Horcoff’s statistics are less than memorable even though they have more goals and assists?”
Well, it’s because this. Jordie Benn is not only younger than these vets, but he plays a completely different position. Defensive players are not meant to score, but instead are meant to defend (funny how those words are so similar). His work as a young manager of the blue line was impressive because he did his job of stopping the opposing offense and getting the puck up the ice to his own offense. This is what a defender is meant to do, in case any have forgotten. And with his balanced attack and improving skill set, he could easily move up in the ranks of the Stars’ back 2’s and find himself among the high ranks.
Benn’s playoff appearance fits perfectly with what I said regarding the true job of defenders. He played through all 6 of the Stars playoff games and came out with no goals and 3 assists. But his balanced, very similar to Connauton’s, just a little more advanced, is what the Stars need him focusing on going forward, not playoff numbers.
Jordie Benn had a one year deal inking him with the Stars organization through the 2012-13 lockout season. But with his breakout performance in those 26 games, the Stars signed him to a 3 year extension before training camp of the past season. The contract consisted of a deal with Benn through the 2015-16 season and a cap hit of $700,000 along with a variety of yearly salaries. He earned $600,000 for the past season and will earn $650,000 in the upcoming season, along with a boost to $850,000 in his last season that he’s signed through. So a low-budget highly effective defender, I like that deal!
In my opinion:
If I haven’t already made it clear enough, Jordie Benn needs to stay on the Stars. He’s a quality two-way defender that handles tough situation in the defensive zone well. And he can only get better from here. At 26, he’s got plenty of years left for improvement to get him to the top and being a part of the young Stars squad, he fits in perfect. If the Stars can hold on to him for the years down the road, they won’t regret him. His style of play on defense is what many teams lack and he needs to continue to execute his strategy, it will pay off on the highway to the Cup.
You may think I’m crazy, but in my opinion Jordie is the third best defenseman they have. His style is just too good to pass up and he has shown it over the last year, thus showing how he earned his spot on the same bench as his bro. They need him in order to help keep the defense stay where it’s at, as well as another addition, as I’ve already said, to excel them to the Cup using a newly enforced blue line mixed with experienced net-minding and a high powered young offense. Jordie is the key to the making or breaking of the defense.
The bottom line on Jordie Benn:
Jordie Benn is a scruffy-faced defenseman that no one knew about at the beginning of the NHL lockout season. And once his name was revealed, everyone just took him for Jamie’s older brother and stuck him in the back of their mind. But over the past two seasons, he’s proved that he is a quality blue-liner and that he deserves his position. At the beginning of training camp, he was signed to an extension and many expected it to be a sole AHL job considering he was up against “Big Rig” Jamie Oleksiak and that balanced guy Kevin Connauton. But Jordie made sure he fought through the adversity and found himself where he has always dreamed of being : an NHL star alongside his brother and some of the best guys he’ll ever meet.
The Stars, having Benn inked through 205-16, could do two things:
They could keep him. He’s proved himself to be a valuable asset to the defense, this past year especially. His skills will most definitely improve over the offseason and training camp, and he’ll bring the true heat in the years to come. With the young age and the point he’s already at in his career, any team would be lucky to call him one of their own. Along with his contract which barely even makes a dent in the Stars overall cap space, the organization will have plenty of breathing room to make a more than generous offer, especially with Whitney and Thomas being apparently erased for good by Nill, to a Top 2 defenseman or 2nd line center, as well as a backup goalie. And after all that, maybe Benn and a few other youngin’s could get a nice little raise and extension if needed?
They could also trade him. If they were looking for a defender from a rebuilding team, he would be the perfect fit to replace someone of that caliber. Or he could sweeten a huge deal that could bring a big name center to Dallas. But this option seems unlikely due to Benn’s rising stock and stat line. Plus, I don’t think that trading the Captain’s brother would go over very well…
As I continually say, all we can do is speculate until the offseason officially opens on July 1st, though LA is trying to get it here as “quickly” (haha) as possible. When that day arrives, I’ll have much more assured answers for you. Until then, we’ll be our own little Jim Nill’s (in our heads, sadly).
Comments please and GO STARS