The deal was going to get done; it was just a matter of time.
Jamie Benn made it clear there’s no place he rather play than in Dallas and the Stars made sure their superstar wasn’t going anywhere. Both sides have agreed to an eight-year, $76-million deal which makes the 26-year old left winger the fifth-highest paid player in the NHL next season.
“The Stars are the only organization I know and Dallas is home to me,” said Benn. “In working with the Gaglardi family and (Stars general manager) Jim Nill, they have made it clear that they are dedicated to winning, and winning the right way. I’m happy to commit to that process for eight more years. My teammates and I value the passion and dedication that we receive from Stars fans and we’re looking forward to getting this season started.”
The Stars have become one of the best teams in the league behind the combination of Benn and Tyler Seguin, capturing the Central Division title last season. Benn finished the season second in the league with 89 points and his 41 goals ranked third. He added another 13 points on five goals and 10 assists during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“Jamie has evolved into one of the most complete players in the NHL and his ability to lead our team is second-to-none,” Nill said in a release. “He impacts the game in so many ways and this signing was extremely important for the direction of the franchise. He’s shown in the playoffs, and at international events like the Olympics and the World Championship, that he is up to any challenge and that his fingerprints will be left on every game. He’s our leader and does things the right way, every day.”
There’s no doubt that Benn is the face of the Stars franchise and was really destined to be from the start. A fifth round selection in the 2007 draft, Benn showed the talent to eventually become one of the top players in the game and became the team’s captain in 2013. His goal output continues to climb as he gets closer to cracking the 50-goal mark. Benn had 22 in his first season, 26 in his third season and his 41 goals last season was a career high.
Toughness is not an issue with Benn, he’s a hockey player. He had double hip surgery last summer and played in all 82 games last season. Benn recently had surgery to repair a core muscle injury in the abdominal region. Nill said the injury happened while training and recovery is expected to be six weeks. At that point, Benn will be re-evaluated to determine his availability for the World Cup of Hockey in September. He’s expected to be ready for the 2016-17 NHL season.
The Stars continue to build a team that will bring the Stanley Cup back to Dallas. The deal with Benn was a massive step in that direction.
Written by C. James