We looked at why the Dallas Stars would need a new captain in a previous post.
After a disastrous Western Conference Finals loss to the Vegas Golden Knights for Jamie Benn, the Stars will be forced to rethink some things this off-season.
However, many good arguments exist for Benn to continue wearing the C.
The Longest Tenured Current Star
Of the current Stars, nobody has been suiting up in Dallas longer than Jamie has. He’s been putting on the Dallas sweater four years prior to even the current victory green colors. Not only would it be weird to fans alike not to see Benn wearing the C, but it could also be weird out of the locker room too. Approaching season number 15 in four months, the captain deserves to continue his leadership after what was a net positive 2023.
Continuing with Dallas’ history, Jamie is the longest-tenured captain in team history. Benn has worn the C longer than Derian Hatcher and Brenden Morrow, the other previous long-term captains in Dallas. Benn will be wearing the C for the 11th straight season coming up. There are reasons why Benn has earned this team role. Especially after the Stars’ dark age from 2009-2013.
The Stars are Already Good
Over the last three years, the Stars have gotten better each year. As the old saying goes, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Your team captain doesn’t have to be your best player, either. Most NHL teams’ best players don’t wear the C on their chest.
For Dallas, the team’s biggest team need is on defense. Benn did have a bad series in what’s about to be his 15-year career, but those six games should not decay his legacy in Dallas, especially when Jake Oettinger needs that playoff experience to become a hopeful Cup champ in the future. And the d core needs to be upgraded from playoff caliber to Cup contender.
The Respect Factor
No question that Benn’s penalty on Mark Stone was the lowest point in that series loss to Vegas, but it was still one just bad decision.
It’s irrational to strip the leadership of a long-time captain over a series where he wasn’t the only one who got showed up. Also, the Golden Knights did go on to win the Stanley Cup.
Benn’s leadership amongst the guys on the team showed during games four and five of the west finals. After the suspension, the rest of the guys railed off two wins so the captain could play again.
So while there is no doubt Benn will need to adjust after that series loss, the respect he’s earned from his teammates is concrete.