Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn was not concussed by a borderline late hit from Martin Hanzal in Phoenix Saturday night.
That is the official word from the Dallas Stars Monday morning following a practice in which Benn did not participate. Officially he is doubtful for Tuesday's game against the Nashville Predators with what's being called a wrist injury.
The team says the X-rays showed no break/fracture in the wrist, and Benn told media today that he injured it earlier in the game, rather than on the hit in the game's final moments.
Benn appeared to lay motionless on the ice following the hit for several seconds before heading to the locker room under his own power. A timetable for his return has not been publicly established.
Minutes after the Stars' media availability this afternoon Renaud Lavoie of RDS in Canada tweeted that it's expected there will be "no sanction" for Hanzal resulting from the hit. Mark Stepneski has since confirmed this with Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk, who was told that the league had no problem with it.
Meanwhile the dynamic duo of Mike Heika and Mark Stepneski bring us today's practice lines, and to say they're a little different would be a bit of an understatement.
Brenden Morrow took the ice early but left after a brief twirl, so the guess is his groin is not yet where it needs to be. He's listed as day-to-day officially.
The good news is that Ray Whitney went through the whole practice and appears ready to return Tuesday night, but must be cleared by the medical staff later today, and that's not a certainty.
Loui Eriksson's placement with Roussel and Fraser, rather than with Jagr seems to indicate that the coaching staff is desirous of maintaining a balanced four-line attack despite the absences of Morrow and Benn. It's another big chance for Matt Fraser to show what he can do on a night when quality chances might be less plentiful than in recent weeks.
The chance for Reilly Smith and Cody Eakin in such a scenario is obviously a big one, but the Roy combination with a healthy Whitney may prove to be the Stars' most dangerous trio Turesday night if health allows - but also may be the group that Gulutzan could need to use against the Preds top line from a defensive standpoint.
What do you think about the lack of discipline for Hanzal? Or about these line combinations?