There's very little that can motivate a hockey player more than playing for the right to represent their country on the biggest stage in sports. The double edged sword, where putting on the sweater of your home country in the Olympics can be considered the epitome of pride, while being left off the preliminary roster can use that same pride as a motivating factor to get down to business and prove them wrong.
If Jamie Benn can keep his focus and positively use those hurt feelings, it could mean great things for the Dallas Stars. After a disjointed and disappointing lock-out shortened season, where he never quite meshed with Jaromir Jagr, and missed training camp with a contract dispute, Jamie Benn needs a strong start to the season... not just if he's going to make a case for his inclusion on the Olympic roster, but also to solidify himself as the star of this franchise, that has done so much to load up on talented, young, potential franchise players.
Jamie Benn is currently back home in British Columbia, participating in a youth hockey camp in Victoria. The Time Colonist had a chance to speak with him about the camp, as well as his vision of making the Canadian roster. [Times Colonist]
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Rumors were making their rounds yesterday that only days after relinquishing control of the Phoenix Coyotes to their new ownership group, the National Hockey League was forced to take control of another team... the New Jersey Devils. As we got closer and closer to press time here at Defending Big D, more and more reports to the contrary were surfacing. [New York Times]
Regardless, it's obvious that the Devils are in trouble, and on the verge of an ownership change of their own. I for one hope things work out. Despite the bad memories of the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals, there are very few teams I respect more in sports than the New Jersey Devils. To keep up with the latest on this story, head over to [In Lou We Trust]
Remember Aaron Gagnon? He had a few cups of coffee with the Dallas Stars, and some memorable times down in Austin for the AHL's Texas Stars. He spent the last few years in Winnipeg with the Jets, after being let go by the Stars. Looks like his time in Winnipeg has also come to an end, as he has signed in Sweden to play for HV71, which is apparently a hockey team, and not a partial license plate from the Winnipeg PD blotter. [NBC-PHT]
Doug Gilmour was one of the most intense and hard nosed centers of his era, winning over fans in New Jersey, Calgary, and Montreal, while achieving sainthood with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The man was so cold-blooded that he earned the nickname of "Killer" from his peers. It should be no surprise that he can now add "traded away son" to his resume. Currently the GM of OHL's Kingston Frontenacs, Gilmour just traded the rights to his son away to the Niagra Ice Dogs. Gilmour is now the anti-Gainey. [USA Today]
With everyone jumping on the bandwagon surrounding the 25th anniversary of the trade that sent Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings, and choosing to either celebate or condemn it's effect on the American or Canadian market, respectively, the Edmonton Journal has put together a "What-If" scenario that's worth reading. [Edmonton Journal]
Today's video is loosely tied in to the Gretzky hype, but with a little Stars flair to it. It's an oldy and a shorty, but a goodie. Let's remember the time when Wayne Gretzky tried to break bad on legendary Stars center Neal Broten. Poor fella.