Once again it's that time of year here on Defending Big D where we take a look at each player that suited up for 20 or more games this season (and finished the season with the organization) - and take a look back at their season. What was good about it, what wasn't so good, and the lasting impression they left us as we go into summer.
When Jordie Benn gets mentioned in headlines in this space it has been, historically, a dichotomous proposition. Praise, or criticism. Such is the way of the internet, and it's always substantiated fairly with facts.
Unlike mentions of him in the comment section.
He's had an up and down ride with the Stars, rising undrafted from the ECHL to earn a surprising three-year deal with the club, and then following that up with a 2013-2014 season to remember for all the right reasons. His start to this season was in line with the rest of the blue line- Not as good.
We wrote about him a couple of times this year:
"Dallas Stars Facing A Crossroads As Disastrous Season Continues", "Dallas Stars Analysis: Jordie Benn and Jason Demers Dominating Lately," "Dallas Stars Daily Links: Jordie Benn, Kari Lehtonen and Falling from Grace."
It's a mixed bag. Mixed. Like his defensive linemates, which in October and November were switching faster than your Meemaw Mary's square dancing partners on a Saturday night.
73 games played, two goals, 14 assists, a minus-5 rating, 34 penalty minutes, and 70 shots on goal for Jordie this season, who gave one of the more stirring images of the year as he celebrated his little brother's scoring title on the bench.
I'm not great at providing context for the so called "advanced-stats," but I do like pictures, so here's his usage chart this year:
I realized after uploading this that Hockey Abstract.com is actually missing about nine games worth of data in their usage charts.
Pish posh. The results are pretty much the same. Jordie started in his own zone enough to push him into the "shut-down" quadrant, had a pretty good positive effect on shot attempt differential (corsi) while he was on the ice (his bubble is blue), and played against fairly average, if not always great competition.
I encourage you to go there, or here at somekindofninja.com and play with the usage charts yourself. There you will see Patrik Nemeth, Jyrki Jokipakka and Jamie Oleksiak's bubble located in sheltered quadrants with less-than-ideal corsi numbers.
You have to admit, however begrudgingly, that Jordie had a serviceable second half, or at least third, of the season. Many defensemen did, and that's where Jim Nill has to figure some things out. Who drove those results? Was it a group effort that made the defense look, you know, not quite so bad at the end of the season? What's liable to happen next year with the same group?
Jordie Benn, as the season wore on, was counted upon as a veteran anchor of a very young group. Sergei Gonchar moved on. Brenden Dillon. Jamie Oleksiak. Nemeth's injury. Trevor Daley got hurt. And there was Jordie Benn, like it or not. Slowly but surely his game started looking more like that of a season ago. Like the exploits of the rest of the team, it just turned out to be a little late.
Oh, but that video from the early going still exists. It was not good. For any of them, really.
He has a year left, and gets a little raise- $850,000 up from $650,000 this season. He joins Alex Goligoski and Jason Demers as "contract-year" players. UFA's, all of them, in July 2016.
How did he do this year? Does he get points for helping them hold it relatively together down the stretch, bad marks for a bad start, or a little of each?
Vote now: Rate Benn on a scale of A to F (A being the best of course) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season.