Tag: Jordie Benn

Dallas Stars Unveil New Logo and Uniforms

Dallas has ‘deepest bench of defense prospects in the league,’ says owner


Though his team’s defensive play left plenty to be desired last season, Stars owner Tom Gaglardi is bullish on the blueline’s future.

“We’ve got the deepest bench of defense prospects in the league quite honestly,” Gaglardi told the Stars website this week.

The remark came during a wide-ranging interview about the club’s offseason moves. It’s certainly an interesting one to make — Dallas allowed the fourth-most goals per game last year (3.13) — though Gaglardi had no issues explaining his thought process:

— John Klingberg “has become the player we thought he might be able to become and maybe even better than that.”

— Patrik Nemeth “is a top four defenseman for a long time in the league.”

— Jyrki Jokipakka, “a seventh-round draft pick, two years ago he is a guy who has a chance and he comes in and plays, and he’s an NHLer.”

Those three, all 23 or younger, make up the core of Dallas’ young defensive prospect pool. But according to Gaglardi, there’s plenty of talent behind them:

“The list of guys back there – [Esa] Lindell is going to be a player, [Mattias] Backman, [Ludwig] Bystrom. In terms of the roster guys, there’s [Jokipakka] and Jordie Benn is capable to playing great hockey and [Jamie] Oleksiak is a first-rounder who is in that group as well. There’s a lot of promise there.

A year or two ago there were guys who were concepts and have now proven they can play at the NHL level and give us lots of options. We’ve got a healthy situation. We’ve got six spots for a game and eight guys on one-way contracts that are going to be battling to play.

And there are some guys coming up that have the capability to knock those guys out in Stephen Johns, Lindell and [Julius] Honka.”

It’ll be interesting to see which of the guys Gaglardi mentioned, if any, will push for minutes this year. Dallas’ top six looks to be comprised of Johnny Oduya, Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers, Klingberg, Nemeth and Jokipakka, with Benn and Oleksiak as the Nos. 7 and 8.

Just don’t set that in stone.

Johns, acquired in the Patrick Sharp trade, said he’s ready for the NHL and Honka, the 14th overall pick in 2014, might be the most promising of the lot.

Guess that’s why Gaglardi’s so excited about what’s on the horizon.

Dallas d-man Johns, acquired in Sharp trade, says he’s ready for the NHL

New York Rangers v Chicago Blackhawks

Patrick Sharp isn’t the only former Blackhawk looking to make his mark in Dallas.

Defensive prospect Stephen Johns, acquired by the Stars two weeks ago in the Sharp deal, is looking to make his big-league debut next season and challenge for a spot on the blueline.

“I am just going to be like every other guy here, battling for a spot, competing and doing whatever I can,” Johns said, per NHL.com. “Personally, I think I am ready, but it’s not up to me.

“I am going to do the best that I can, play the best hockey I can and try to impress them.”

Johns, 23, was held in high regard by the ‘Hawks, who took him 60th overall at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He’s big (6-foot-3, 229 pounds), showed good offensive upside in Rockford this year — 21 points in 51 games, missing time to a knee injury — and garnered some consideration as a darkhorse candidate to step in on Chicago’s defense in the playoffs, following Michal Rozsival‘s season-ending ankle fracture in Round 2.

A broken forearm kept Johns from making that leap, but a new opportunity came calling two weeks ago when he and Sharp were flipped to Dallas for Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt.

Dallas’ blueline is hardly set in stone; while the likes of John Klingberg, Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers and Johnny Oduya are all experienced NHLers, Johns should (theoretically) compete with fellow youngsters Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak, Jyrki Jokipakka and ’14 first-rounder Julius Honka for minutes.

It also remains to be seen where Jordie Benn, who struggled mightily last season, fits into the grand scheme of things.

More D change in Dallas as Jordie Benn looks to be out (Updated)

Dallas Stars v New York Islanders

We’ve written quite a bit lately about Dallas’ woeful defense lately — allowing 3.47 goals per game, second-most in the NHL — and the numerous attempts to try and fix it.

Tonight, they could try something new.

Jordie Benn appears primed to be a healthy scratch versus the Coyotes, based on this morning’s skate, which would be the first time this season he’s been held out of the lineup.

The older brother of Stars captain Jamie Benn, Jordie has struggled throughout this season and has been especially poor over the last three games, posting a minus-5 rating while watching his ice time diminish — he played just 15:23 in Tuesday’s 6-4 home loss to Carolina, his lowest total of the season.

In Benn’s place, it looks like recently-recalled Jyrki Jokipakka will get into the lineup for just the fourth time this season:

This change comes on the heels of a pair of blueline-related moves: Sergei Gonchar being traded to Montreal in exchange for forward Travis Moen, and Kevin Connauton being lost on waivers to Columbus.

Update: Looks as though Benn will indeed sit tonight…

Kings’ Martinez had surgery on his pinky finger

Alec Martinez

L.A. Kings coach Darryl Sutter offered more details on defenseman Alec Martinez following his team’s 3-2 overtime win Saturday.

Martinez, who underwent surgery on Friday, blocked a Jordie Benn shot in Thursday’s 2-0 loss to the Dallas Stars.

“You know what? Everything went well,” Sutter said. “It was basically a finger – they had to do some suturing on his finger and clean up his nail a bit. When it heals, then he’ll be ready.”

Martinez, who has two goals and seven points while averaging over 20 minutes in ice time in 16 games, is one of only four Kings’ defensemen to appear in every game this season.

Video: Martinez injured following a shot block (Updated)

Alec Martinez

L.A. Kings defenseman Alec Martinez left Thursday night’s 2-0 loss with 9:29 remaining in the second period after taking a Jordie Benn point shot to the midsection and did not return.

Here’s a look at the play:

“Left the game in the second period and did not return. Once the doctor gives us some more information, that’s about all I can tell you,” coach Darryl Sutter said post-game.

According to Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register, Martinez left the Staples Center post-game with his hand wrapped up.

L.A. Times reporter Lisa Dillman, reported that via text Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi indicated Martinez’s injury was not serious.

With the Kings’ down to five defensemen for essentially half the game, Drew Doughty finished the night with a game-high 31:39 in time on ice.

Sutter admitted he’s over-working the blue liner.

“He has been playing a lot of minutes. Do we like that? No. But that’s where we’re at,” he said. “You know what? I look at that all the time, too. It’s too many minutes. He’s going to tell you he’s fine with it, but over the long haul, that’s too many.”

The Kings have Friday off before hosting the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday afternoon.

According to CapGeek, since the Jamie McBain recall, the Kings have under $15,000 in cap space.

If Martinez is unable to go, the Kings will likely have to dress five defenseman again (like they did last weekend against the Canucks) due to salary cap limitations. The other option would be to move a player to Long Term Injured Reserve, which would force the player to miss 10 games and 24 days.

Defenseman Robyn Regehr skated on Thursday, but isn’t expected to be ready for Saturday’s game.

Martinez, who has two goals and seven points while averaging over 20 minutes in ice time in 16 games, is one of only four Kings’ defensemen to appear in every game this season.