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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Jamie Benn Toeing the Line

The captain is still working on adjusting to Hitchcock’s system. Plus, the storm before the (maybe) bigger storm of trades, and more.

Dallas Stars v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Happy trade deadline day folks! It’s looking more and more like the Dallas Stars won’t be major players (as of Sunday night), but we’ll see how it shakes out. Apologies if more has happened after I queued this, but it’s late Sunday night and I need my beauty sleep.

Jamie Benn hasn’t quite seemed like himself lately. While the physicality and hustle are still there, he has scored only one goal in the last 13 games and something just seems kind of off:

He just doesn’t seem as noticeable out there. He doesn’t go into “beast mode” the way he used to. He doesn’t seem as dynamic as he once was. He seems like a calmer, cooler version of himself, and maybe that’s part of the transition into Ken Hitchcock’s system of controlled hockey.

Benn hasn’t been silent on the offensive front, with several key assists in recent games, but he hasn’t been taking over games like we’ve seen in seasons past. It seems as if Benn is thinking too much, or maybe worrying about staying within the confines of Hitchcock’s system so much that the essence of his game has been taking a backseat. Hitch doesn’t see it that way, however:

“I think people confuse beast mode with running around and hitting people,” Hitchcock said. “Beast mode, to me, is how strong you are with the puck. What we’re trying to teach is that 75 percent of great defensive hockey is what you do with the puck. If we manage the puck properly, we’ll be able to play with anybody - and him and Seguin and Radulov, they’re the lead dogs.”

I think we can remain very optimistic that the Benn of old will rear his head eventually. Hopefully sooner rather than later. (Full disclosure, it is very hard for me to say anything critical about Jamie Benn because he is one of my favorite Stars of all time). See more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]

Stars Things

I’m writing this on Sunday night, so we’ll see if Jim Nill stays true to his word:

Scott Burnside goes over what the Stars need to do moving forward in his takeaways from Saturday night’s disaster:

Stephen Johns can really crank it:

This is moderately reassuring:

Around the League

Trades and trade rumors abound! Here is a quick recap of what happened yesterday:

  • Brian Gianti is now on the Bruins apparently:

Well, this is terrible:

Condolences from all of us at Defending Big D go to Jordan Staal and his family.

Kind of a cool story:

Tyler Pitlick provided some inspiration to Leon Draisaitl: