Suddenly, Jamie Benn is everywhere. With his first Art Ross Trophy on the shelf, the Dallas Stars captain has become the man to watch all over the league. The latest manifestation of all this attention is a new list from Yahoo Sports that puts Benn just behind Russian sniper Alex Ovechkin among the best left wings in the best hockey league in the world.
2. Jamie Benn, Dallas: How about back-to-back Art Ross Trophies as the league's leading point man?
If they have to put someone before Our Captain, it may help that the guy at No. 1 is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, a.k.a. the "gold standard for goal-scoring." Rick Nash (New York Rangers), Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild) and Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers) round out the top five.
Ranked at No. 25 (obviously due to his performance with the Chicago Blackhawks) is brand-new Star Patrick Sharp, although the flippant tone of the brief encomium devoted to him may leave you saying "thanks for nothing":
25. Patrick Sharp, Dallas: It's not how many times you score, it's how handsome you look while doing it.
On the honorable-mention list is former Stars sixth-round draft pick (and enduring fan fave) Jussi Jokinen of the Florida Panthers, and there are some possibly controversial surprises throughout. Do you agree with the rankings? [Yahoo Sports]
Administrative note: Starting this week, Daily Links will appear three times per week as the long, hot, hockey-free summer drags on and on and on and on and on. Expect Melissa and me to be on the job on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Stay alive, no matter what occurs.
You probably should be talking about Remi Elie more. The 20-year-old forward and recent Connor McDavid linemate dominated parts of the Stars' 2015 development camp, and Jim Nill is more than a little satisfied with his progress. [Stars Inside Edge]
"Coaches don't put you with a guy just because you are a good guy. You are doing something right. Coaches want to win," said Nill. "The coaches raved about [Elie]. They said he does everything right on the ice. He backchecks. He's the first guy getting it out; he's the first guy getting it in."
ESPN Insider has named Jason Spezza as one of five players who stand to benefit most from new teammates in 2015-16. Matthew Coller sees Patrick Sharp as the finisher the Spezza-Hemsky line needs and expects Dr. Giggles' point totals to climb accordingly. The original article is behind a paywall, but The Dallas Morning News has summarized the important parts. [SportsDayDFW]
The Texas Stars have announced their 2015-16 preseason schedule, which includes two games against their I-35 rivals, the San Antonio Rampage, on Oct. 2 and Oct. 4 in Cedar Park Center.
Why wait to rekindle the rivalry? The #txstars and @sarampage will play two preseason games at CPC for 2015-16: http://t.co/UktQ5HaUMO— Texas Stars Hockey (@TexasStars) July 23, 2015
Ottawa Senators forward (and former Star) Alex Chiasson was awarded a one-year, $1.2 million contract by an arbitrator yesterday morning. Chiasson filed for $2.45 million against the Sens' offer of $1 million. [USA Today]
Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals and goalie Braden Holtby have walked out of their arbitration discussions with five years and $30.5 million dollars' worth of common ground. [Washington Post]
Russian Machine Never Breaks responds to this news with yet another promising reader challenge.
Please photoshop Braden standing by expensive things he can now suddenly afford. Upload here: http://t.co/uHsAVYdZvw pic.twitter.com/lRUkT1vv12— RMNB (@russianmachine) July 24, 2015
Alexander Semin signed a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. Adam Gretz has written an interesting article on the guy he calls "the league's most polarizing player," as well as some pointed observations on how expectations (and media treatment) are different for European players. [CBS Sports]
Elsewhere, another young RFA Swedish defenseman cashes in on a multiyear extension as the New Jersey Devils sign Adam Larsson to a six-year, $25 million deal. The (now ironically named) Devils blog In Lou We Trust breaks down the deal. [In Lou We Trust]
After getting a 20-game suspension in 2014 for use of the performance-enhancing drug DHEA, former Buffalo Sabres center Zenon Konopka is ready to finish his career on his own terms. [Buffalo Hockey Beat]
Stars connection: Konopka took one of his nearly 200 career fights against former Dallas sixth-round pick Luke Gazdic during a Sabres-Oilers game in March 2014, less than a month before his suspension.
In the midst of all the optimism for the coming season, Sports Illustrated's Fansided.com throws a drink in the face of the NHL's five most delusional fan bases. [Fansided]
From the Transferable Skills Department: Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke is leaving the team to become the new chief operating officer of the NFL. [ESPN]
So what happens after the Arizona Coyotes' new two-year lease expires? Craig Morgan of FOX Sports Arizona contemplates the scenarios in a long and fascinating read.
What happens to Coyotes, Glendale in two years? http://t.co/J2dwfwQxfT via @FOXSPORTSAZ— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) July 24, 2015
Finally: Patrick Sharp's last official act as a Chicago Blackhawk was his day with the Stanley Cup yesterday. And how was your weekend?
Madelyn & Sadie Sharp enjoy a slushie with another treat (Niantic, CT) #StanleyCup @NHLBlackhawks @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/JRsOTmxytK— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) July 26, 2015
Off to the beach! Patrick Sharp gets help from the kids (Niantic, CT) #StanleyCup @NHLBlackhawks @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/N728HIu8fF— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) July 26, 2015
Patrick and his pal, Shooter. The end of a great day! (Niantic, CT) #StanleyCup @NHLBlackhawks @HockeyHallFame pic.twitter.com/nRXeHYmBcF— Philip Pritchard (@keeperofthecup) July 27, 2015