When Jamie Benn says he is going to prove someone wrong, he very well just might do exactly that. After being left off of Team Canada's preliminary orientation camp roster, Benn and linemate Tyler Seguin both committed themselves to playing their way on to Team Canada for the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi. Since that time, they've proven to be one of the most dynamic duos in the league.
Despite Jamie Benn's recent struggles to put pucks past goaltenders on his own, his strong versatile playing style has a lot of pundits talking about the Stars captain. Benn's playing style isn't completely dissimilar to the style that earned Brenden Morrow a spot at the last Olympic games, and would give Canada the option to play him either up or down the lineup, similar to how the Dallas Stars have use Rich Peverley this season.
ESPN had a feature on Jamie Benn outlining his chances of making Team Canada. Article by Pierre Lebrun and a video featuring Barry Melrose. [ESPN]
The love doesn't stop there, and Jamie Benn makes Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski's list of Top 10 players that are earning their way into the discussion. [Puck Daddy]
Jamie Benn's two primary linemate, Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin, were once seen as big gambles that were taken by rookie general manager Jim Nill during the summer. Now both players are earning universal praise for their contributions to a young and dynamic Stars offense. CBS Sports wrote about how Jim Nill's early gambles are paying dividends in a big way. [CBS Sports]
Speaking of risky deals, the hot rumor around the NHL this week is another expansion. While the NHL didn't make their plans official, they did some heavy hinting that a 32 team league could be a lot closer than you probably think. Obvious locations like Seattle, Las Vegas, and Quebec are always mentioned as potential relocation or expansion candidates, but the State of Connecticut refuses to let their dream die. Could Hartford see a return of the Brass Bonanza? [Collinsville Press]
Similarly, could the NHL revive another old WHA market, and give the Stars the geographic rivalry that they've so desperately needed the last two decades? With the AHL's Houston Aeros now a thing of the past, there's a legitimate hunger for top flight hockey down in Houston. Wouldn't that be fun? [Houston Press]
Son of Dallas Stars great Dave Gagner, and pretty solid hockey player in his own right, Sam Gagner, better have thick skin if he's going to make it in the new Pacific Division. Case in point, the poor kid was mocked by Zach Kassian of the Vancouver Canucks for wearing a protective jaw shield of all things. You stay classy, Vancouver. [Puck Daddy]
The NHL's latest attention grabber, the Coors Light Stadium Series, has been a bit of a let down for most uniform connoisseurs, placing most teams in a very cookie-cutter template with "chromed out" crests and slanted arm numbers. That said, the Pittsburgh Penguins Stadium Series sweater has a lot of potential... and I'm not just saying that because it's a super-pointed and slanted version of the Stars very attractive road jersey. [Pittsburgh Penguins]