After a few weeks of waiting, Dallas Stars’ fans will finally get to see forward Jamie Benn back in uniform. The 23-year-old winger signed a five-year deal with Dallas, announced by the Stars tonight, worth 5.25 million per season. This is Benn’s fourth season in the NHL, following his selection by Dallas in the fifth round of the 2007 NHL entry draft.
“Jamie Benn has proven in his short, but very productive NHL career, that he is not only this franchise’s cornerstone player, but also an emerging superstar in the league,” said General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk in the Dallas Stars press release Thursday night. “We believe that Jamie has the necessary tools to continue his growth and lead this team into the next great era of Dallas Stars hockey.”
He’ll join an already qualified group of forwards on the Stars this season, including future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr, Ray Whitney, Michael Ryder, Brendan Morrow, Loui Eriksson and Derek Roy. The Stars have quality goaltending in Kari Lehtonen and could compete for a run in the postseason this year.
With Benn officially out of the restricted free agent market, Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban headlines the blue line market and Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly is the big name restricted free agent forward yet to be signed.
The Stars still have some work to do on their blue line in the near future, but their future looks quite bright. Benn will likely play his first game for the Stars this year against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday.