Dallas Stars Daily Links: Jamie Benn Is More than a Power Forward

Because it's never a bad time to lavish praise on #14. Elsewhere, LA locks up a solid young defenseman and Nashville's shutdown plan on the Stars bodes well for their young season—right?

Of the many phrases tossed around when Benn was selected for the Canadian Olympic team last year, one of the most inadequate might have been "power forward." I'm not just saying this because of how often the term is applied to bigger players who aren't necessarily seen as having truly high-end stickhandling, shooting or skating abilities. Actually, yes, that's basically why I'm saying this. For way too long, Benn was seen as this sort of default star in Dallas, loved by Crawford but generally inconsequential because of how middling Dallas was as a team. He busted his way in through the swinging saloon doors of training camp, and now we laugh when remembering that Neal was seen as the Real Deal before being traded. (Aside: I wonder if Joe Nieuwendyk noticed some of the underlying parts of Neal's game that led to him being unceremoniously swapped out of Pittsburgh? Not trying to give him too much credit, just a thought.)

Naturally, we all know better now. From highlights in Columbus, Detroit, Columbus again last night and St. Louis multiple times, Benn has dazzled, dangled and dished to an astonishingly high degree. Once Dallas found a true supporting cast for their rising superstar, it was only a matter of time before Don Cherry would be using a hackneyed aphorism to describe our beloved captain. Last night was the latest reminder that yes, everybody needs to recognize.

But don't take my word for it—find out for yourself. From Lindy Ruff (via the Sporting News):

"'Power forward' gets used a lot. Physically, he can do it. He's a very good skater. I think sometimes he was criticized for his skating; I never really saw that," Ruff said. "He can make as good of plays in tight as anybody. He's got the one-on-one skills when he can score highlight-reel goals

"That makes him a combination of a lot of things. It makes him a power forward when he wants to be, but there are times when he's flat-out finesse scoring goals."

And again, Benn has done this sort of thing before. There aren't a lot of guys in the league who can pull it off with any sort of regularity. It's the sort of stuff that makes it impossible for anyone who prefers to stay "under-the-radar," a term Benn used twice in 90 seconds on Wednesday.

"I'm not trying to do that on purpose," he said. "I was kind of watching the video this morning and Ruffles was joking around there about (how) I probably should've gotten that puck in. I got lucky with a couple turnovers there, but I was fortunate enough to find a way to get it back and found some room to make a good shot." [Sporting News]

There's actually a ton of other quotes in that piece from yesterday, including a couple of references to a Josh Lile post or two, so give it a read. Good stuff in preparation for Pittsburgh.

Thursday will be a great opportunity to see a lot of the league's best in action as Seguin, Malkin, Benn and Crosby (also quoted in the above article) hit the ice. And if you watch closely, you might notice quite a few more similarities than differences between the best players on both sides.

* * * * *

Thursday's links have far to go, as they say, so I linked a million stories here for all you animals. Go on, read 'em. See if I care.

Derek Neumeier describes Jamie Benn's going "Beast Mode" Tuesday night over at The Hockey Writers. [THW]

I loved this piece. A TSN article that purports to be about Nashville's new "approach," but then Travis Yost seems to just give in to his quite forgivable desire to talk about Dallas for the vast majority of the piece. Not pretty stats on the Spezza line, but let's give them some time. They'll adjust, they'll settle in, and they'll make us happy, I suspect. Quite a feat considering how insatiable and greedy we fans are. [TSN]

In his reflections on the Columbus game, Mike Heika talked about creating your own reality, which is just a sort of epistemological quagmire, but there I go finding any excuse to reference epistemology again. [DMN]

Seguin also garnered Number One Star honors from Puck Daddy the other night. [Puck Daddy]

Yahoo also put their right foot into the hokey pokey circle with this piece about the Benn/Seguin wonderfulness. [Yahoo]

Tyler Seguin is also a really fast skater. Like, this fast: [Powerscout]

Well, shut my mouth and paint me red! Nashville's getting the 2016 All-Star Game. [Tenesseean]

The reigning champions have locked down another one of their young players for the next few years. Jake Muzzin has been extended for five years and $20 million. Dillon continues to buy Malt-O-Meal brand cereal, biding his time until next summer. [NHL]

With Peverley being officially moved to LTIR, here's a reminder that it's nothing to be happy about from Broad Street Hockey. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Pevs. [BSH]

Former Star Michael Ryder opened up about his troubled younger brother, Daniel. [NJ.com]

Elliotte Friedman was one of a few people to defend the Panthers for their attendance woes. What American team hasn't gone through this at some point in the last two or three decades, after all? 30 Thoughts here. [SportsNet]

If you have failed the "What team does Brock Nelson play for?" quiz, then you'd best catch up with this article on the young phenom (of Long Island). [Puck Daddy]

The Bruins finally won another game, but some disclaimers: 1) It was against lowly Detroit, 2) Reilly Smith and David Krejci had to do, like, everything, and 3) Shootout win, so...yeah. [NHL]

Prospects, ahoy! SportsNet has their top 30 list up for next summer's draft. You'll never guess who's atop the rankings, ever. You won't guess, I'm telling you. Nope, that's wrong, Jeff Halpern isn't even eligible. That was a terrible guess. [SportsNet]

Rick Gosselin has a nice piece about Steve Martinson, coach of the Allen Americans (newly) of the ECHL. By the way, ECHL is no longer an acronym, despite what you may read. [DMN]

Finally, if that wasn't enough links for you, how about this amazing piece about the first space walk in history? Fascinating stuff, this. Soviet cosmonauts just may have been extremely legit. [BBC]