Jamie Benn is currently the longest active Star on the roster.
He has been with the team since the 2009-2010 season and has served as the Captain since 2013-2014.
Benn has seen a lot of down years during his current tenure, and this includes his first four seasons being part of a five-year playoff drought. That stretch includes a chance at a playoff berth in 2011. All they needed to do was win the last game of the season, but the Stars lost the game against the Minnesota Wild.
Since the 2014 season, Dallas has made the playoffs in four out of seven years. Before this year that includes a first-round exit to the Anaheim Ducks in six games in 2014. There have also been two second-round exits to the St. Louis Blues each coming in seven games (2016 and 2019). Dallas finally broke through that second round threshold with a thrilling overtime game seven victories vs the Colorado Avalanche.
Jamie Benn weighed in on playing with his best team thus far.
“Obviously we were in the exact same situation last year and came out on the wrong end of it,” Benn said. “It’s nice to get that win and move on.” Benn was referring to the heartbreaking game seven double OT loss to the Blues last season.
Not only is Jamie Benn known for being the longest-tenured current Star, but since jumping into the league in 2010 he likes to play the game physically. Game one of the 2020 Western Conference Finals is a recent among many examples that can be thrown out there.
Coach Rick Bowness chimed in on Benn’s physical play that night.
“Loved it,” Stars interim coach Rick Bowness said. “Just loved it. If he comes out and plays that hard, he’s a huge influence on the outcome of the game and he’s a huge influence on our hockey club.”
Another noteworthy accomplishment in Jamie’s playing career was him winning the Art Ross trophy in 2015. He is the only Star to win the award to date. Which is awarded to the top point-getter of the regular season (goals + assists).
While Jamie’s point production has gotten down in the last few years there are other ways to lead and impact the team. He still produces goals and assists for his team. Currently sitting second on the team with seventeen points (seven goals, and ten assists). Full team stats can be seen, here. Benn is widely known for being one of the toughest guys on the team and chalking it up in the hits category.
Writer Matthew DeFranks of Dallas Morning News threw in his thoughts on Benn’s overall impact.
“The Stars count on him to be a leader in the dressing room, to set the tone on the bench and to inject emotion and physicality into the game.”
Something that might be often overlooked is that Jamie Benn had surgeries in 2015, and 2016. Right after winning the Art Ross trophy he had hip surgery a few weeks later. In 2016 he had core muscle surgery. Hockey is a tough sport, and can certainly take a toll.
Looking at Jamie’s decade-plus time in the NHL (all his years with the Stars) it has to be appreciated that he is playing on his best team as the Captain. Even if there are dips in the scoring, and past surgeries. Very few players stay with one franchise for over a decade.
Currently, Jamie Benn and his Dallas Stars are one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals. Without a doubt his best team to date.
Featured Image: nhl.com