The Stars general manager talks about Benn's current and future role with the team, including his potential to be captain one day, and other news and notes from around the NHL.
And now, exactly a week later, he comes back with another great feature on a Stars player, this one focusing on Jamie Benn.
The beginning of the story is both awesome and telling as Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk talks about just how talented Benn is and the potential he has for greatness. And it explores Benn's future role with the Stars both on and off the ice.
Several comments have been made here at Defending Big D about if the Stars would be willing to move the captaincy of the team to Benn in the near future, and Cotsonika seems to indicate while that day is not imminent, it's certainly in the Stars plans for the future.
It's a sensitive subject around the Stars, because Morrow is so respected and handling this so professionally. But it's no secret Benn could become the captain one day – if he earns it.
"I think he has the potential to grow into that," Nieuwendyk said. "He's going through a lot of experiences that are only going to help him down the road, and this contract is probably another one, the pressure of it. I think it was very tough on him, and now he's got to play with a big dollar attached to his name. Those things are important. He'll respond, and there will be some ups and there will be some downs, but you just hope that he continues to get better and he does all the right things."
The whole article is a great read, though it includes very few quotes from Benn himself. In fact, Cotsonika even jokes about Benn's fairly limited selection of quotes.
Also in today's links, the reaction to the Stars bringing up a top prospect, Seth Jones moves up the rankings and an injury roundup.
- The other article I heavily considered for the top link today was this column by Mike Heika. I think it gives a great overview of where the Stars are right now and why the attitude inside the organization is considerably more positive than the angst the fans are going through during this losing streak. And he tackles the flip side of questions like benching some veterans and going full-scale youth movement. It's definitely worth your time this morning. [DallasNews.com]
- The big news of Wednesday was the promotion of Jamie Oleksiak and Antoine Roussel and the demotion of Reilly Smith. Mark Stepneski has all the details here if you missed them. [Stars Insider]
- Heika's paywalled article also hits on the roster moves. [DallasNews.com]
- Dallas native Seth Jones jumped to the top of TSN's draft prospect rankings after the month of January. Can the forces of good luck and shrewd trades combine to have this kid end up in the Stars organization, please? [TSN.ca]
- Let's start the injury portion of today's links with this essay on the inherent conflict both team doctor and player face when trying to diagnose a concussion during a game, featuring the story of Gabriel Landeskog. At some point, the NHL (as well as other professional sports leagues) is going to have to come up with a better system for in-game screening. [Backhand Shelf]
- Where do concussions come from in the NHL? From dirty hits like Colin McDonald of the New York Islanders, who has been Shanabanned for two games for a hit on Ben Lovejoy of the Penguins. [Puck Daddy]
- Of course, players have found numerous ways to injure themselves over the years (and delicious pancakes did manage to get their revenge on Dustin Penner last year). But Mike Komisarek entered the legion of "freakiest, yet most preventable injuries" this week when he ended up with a shard of fibreglass lodged in his eye after smashing his stick against the post. [The Globe and Mail]
- Let's wrap up the injuries with something that's simultaneously uplifting and frighting. A high school trainer saved the life of a hockey player by recognizing the extremely serious cut he had suffered to his wrist during a minor collision. Remember kids, skates are sharp and nasty, nasty cuts can happen even at the lower levels. [Gloucester Times]
- More drama in the desert on the Phoenix Coyotes sale front. Greg Jamison now seems unlikely to meet today's deadline to finalize his purchase of the team. But there could be another group of investors waiting in the wings. Look, the NHL is not going to let the team get relocated without a fight because they do not want to set a bad precedent of how to circumvent the Board of Governors through bankruptcy court. Still, this is getting really, really old. [Fox Sports Arizona]
- Yes, this video is from the summer, but I can't resist posting funny youth hockey moments, especially when they involve a purse-carrying mother. There is some profanity yelled at the end of the video, so you might want to turn the volume down or grab your headphones if you're somewhere it shouldn't be broadcast.