The Dallas Stars continued their summer of re-shaping on Thursday, naming Jamie Benn the sixth captain in team history.
“In a very short period of time, Jamie Benn has gone from being an exciting up-and-coming player in the NHL, to being a cornerstone of the franchise,” Stars GM Jim Nill said in a statement. “He has steadily grown as a player and as a person. He conducts himself each and every day in a professional way and continually leads by example.
“We fully believe that he will be a driving force in getting this team to the next level — and now he’s our captain.”
Benn, 24, has spent his entire four-year career in Dallas and committed to the organization long-term last season by signing a five-year, $26.25 million extension.
Named to the NHL’s All-Star team in 2012, Benn has become the face of the franchise in relatively short order, one of the few constant presences during the aforementioned changing of the guard.
This past summer alone, Dallas hired a new GM (Nill), a new coach (Lindy Ruff), introduced new uniforms (see here), acquired a new No. 1 defenseman (Sergei Gonchar) and pulled off a blockbuster seven-player deal with Boston, landing Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley.
Benn inherits a Stars captaincy left vacant since Brenden Morrow was traded to Pittsburgh at last year’s deadline. Prior to Morrow, Dallas’ “C” was worn by Mike Modano, Derian Hatcher, Neal Broten and Mark Tinordi.
Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.
Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.
Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.
This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.
With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.
During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.
“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.
“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”
The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.
Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.