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Stars get ready for opener without unsigned Benn


The Dallas Stars will begin the shortened season with one huge absence: Jamie Benn.

Benn, a restricted free agent, is working out in Victoria, British Columbia while his teammates gear up for their home opener against the Phoenix Coyotes at 8:00 p.m. ET tonight.

“We love him as a teammate. He’s a special player. We’d be lying if we didn’t admit to that,” captain Brenden Morrow said in a Dallas Morning News report. “But we believe in the guys we have here.”

Morrow pointed to Tommy Wandell as a player that will step up tonight. Wandell will start on the season on the second line while Derek Roy is projected to play alongside Loui Eriksson and Jaromir Jagr. Once Benn is finally signed, Roy and Wandell will slide down in the depth charts.

The Dallas Stars and Benn have not shared a lot of details about the ongoing negotiations, but agent Rich Evans did say that his client is hoping to sign a contract in the three-to-five year range.

The Stars don’t want to sign him to a four-year deal as that would take him to his first summer of unrestricted free agent eligibility, but they would be willing to ink him to a three or five campaign deal. However, both sides are reportedly divided when it comes to the financial terms.

What makes this situation even more unfortunate for Dallas is the fact that they will hit the ground running this season. Dallas is scheduled to play seven games in 11 days starting with Saturday’s opener, so every day Benn goes unsigned is another significant blow to the Stars.

Glencross released from another PTO, this time by Avs

Washington Capitals v Ottawa Senators
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Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.

Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.

While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.

A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.

Slepyshev earns final Oilers roster spot; Draisaitl to AHL

Anton Slepyshev, Anton Lander
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The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.

The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.

The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.

But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.

“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”

Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.