The Dallas Stars inked restricted free agent Jamie Benn to a five-year, $26.25 million contract Thursday night. Unfortunately, he might still not be available on Monday.
As a Canadian citizen, Benn needs a work visa to play for the Stars and, given that government offices aren’t opened on weekends, he still doesn’t have one, according to the Dallas Morning News.
So why didn’t Benn take care of this while he was still negotiating with the Stars? The simple answer is that he wasn’t allowed to until after he signed.
The 23-year-old forward has already missed the Stars’ opening five games and he will be unavailable for the sixth if the paperwork isn’t completed by 5:00 p.m. ET. Benn had three goals and five points in four games last season against Dallas’ upcoming opponent, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Assuming the government work gets done today, the timing of Benn’s return would be great. Although Jaromir Jagr should return on Monday after missing time with back soreness, they might still be without Derek Roy (groin).
If Benn is available and Roy isn’t, then Benn will probably play on the top line with Jagr and Loui Eriksson. If the Stars end up with both forwards on Monday, then Stars coach Glen Gulutzan has indicated that he’ll probably balance the lines by putting Benn with Ray Whitney and Michael Ryder while Roy skates alongside Jagr and Eriksson.
Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
Per @EliasSports: @LAKings had 9 different skaters score in a game for 5th time in franchise history. Last: Jan. 21, 1987 vs. PIT (10-5 W).
Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.
Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”
Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.