A star in Germany
Hit where it hurts: Dallas Stars lose forward Jamie Benn to Hamburg Freezers
The National Hockey League lockout just hit the Dallas Stars where it hurts. Jamie Benn, the team’s second-leading returning scorer from last season, signed a one-year contract with the Hamburg Freezers on Monday, becoming the third Dallas Star to sign with a foreign team during the lockout. Certainly he is the one with the highest profile.
Benn finished last season with 63 points (26 goals and 37 assists) and had the team’s third-best plus-minus with a plus-15. Last month Stars president Jim Lites told KERA’s CEO program that he believed Benn could be the one to assume Mike Modano’s mantle as the franchise’s standard-bearing player.
Stars president Jim Lites has said that Benn could be the one to assume Mike Modano’s mantle as the franchise’s standard-bearing player.
Benn’s contract does allow him to return to the Stars once the lockout ends. But there are serious questions about when that will be. The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association met for two hours in New York City on Tuesday, and both sides came away from those meetings talking as if the lockout, which started September 15, had no end in sight.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told reporters no progress was made and that, unless progress came soon, a deal might not get done before the league has to start canceling regular-season games. The league has already canceled the entire preseason schedule, a move the New York Daily News reported cost the league $100 million.
Players appear to be girding for a protracted lockout. Eliteprospects.com has confirmed the signing of about 100 NHL players with non-NHL teams since the lockout began. The regular season is set to open October 11, and the Stars are supposed to open the season two days later in Phoenix.
The other two Stars to sign foreign contracts are Philip Larsen in Finland and Jaromir Jagr in the Czech Republic.