Jamie Benn

Coach Ruff hopes Olympic camp snub motivates Benn


Hockey Canada extended invitations to 47 players for its upcoming Team Canada Olympic orientation camp.

Given the wealth of talent the nation has, it’s impossible to compile such a list without excluding noteworthy players, but one of the bigger snubs was Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn.

Benn is quickly emerging as a star in the NHL and at the age of 24, he has the potential to be a valuable player for his country for years to come. Despite that he didn’t even get an invite to the camp.

The British Columbia-native’s new head coach, Lindy Ruff, will be part of Team Canada and he said that Benn’s name has come up in the roster talks. He also thinks this snub can serve as motivation for Benn.

“You can say I am going to use these three months and put myself on the map, and make them make a hard decision,” Ruff told Stars Inside Edge. “The ball is in Jamie’s court. He’s going to have to outplay some players that are maybe ahead of him and use that as a tool to motivate himself. I’d like to put him in the best position possible to do that.”

In other words, Benn still has a shot to make the team.

Meanwhile, Benn’s Stars have made significant moves over the summer in the hope of ending their five-season playoff drought. Among other things, Dallas acquired 21-year-old forward Tyler Seguin, who will probably play on the same line as Benn. Seguin is another up-and-coming player that won’t be attending Team Canada’s camp.

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
1 Comment

Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
1 Comment

Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen