When a team signs a player to an extension at the earliest possible moment, it’s quite the gesture. You can look at it as an unofficial way of a team considering that guy a member of their “core.”
It can also say a lot about how a player feels about a team, even if their options are often more limited by the CBA and other concerns.
For Jamie Benn, going long-term with the Dallas Stars was a no-brainer, as he explained to the Dallas Morning News on Sunday.
“I didn’t have even one thought of leaving this place,” Benn said. “I fell in love with Dallas, Texas ever since I got down here [in 2009]. I have all the belief in [Stars general manager] Jim Nill and the coaching staff around here that we’re going to do something special.”
Sure, there are issues.
The defense still leaves a lot to be desired and the team is spending $10.4 million per year for what’s been a mediocre goaltending duo.
Still, the positives are as obvious as the heat during a Texas summer.
Deep in the heart of their prime years
Tyler Seguin is signed dirt-cheap for three more seasons and is, somehow, just 24. John Klingberg is one year younger and locked down for a bargain rate for five seasons.
The Stars also see veterans whose deals are mostly on the short end, meaning Nill enjoys some flexibility in building around this Benn-fueled core.
Oh yeah, it probably doesn’t hurt that he’ll see more of that $76 million thanks to the whole “no state income tax” thing.
Don’t forget the great food and mild winters.
It sort of sounds like the amenities you’d highlight during a tour, right?
Anyway, Benn is reasonable in believing that the best years are coming up. Honestly, it’s difficult to imagine this team failing to at least contend barring some catastrophic mismanagement or bad luck.
The more likely scenario involves the Stars pushing for deep playoff runs, and Benn being integral to those successes.
The Dallas Morning News has even more from Benn here.