Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn has left the Hamburg Freezers of the German League, according to the team website.
As for the how and why, here’s a Google-translated statement from Hamburg GM Stephane Richer (aka “the other” Stephane Richer):
“Jamie has asked for a break to settle personal matters in North America. His request we have complied. Of course, he is one of our key players, but personal reasons enjoy priority for us.
“Jamie was in the jersey of the Hamburg Freezers shown outstanding performance and particularly in his first games took pressure from the other players.
“Should the lockout continue or fail the season complete, we expect Jamie back in January in Hamburg. For now, we give him now first time that he needs. “
Man, I love Google translate.
Benn leaving the German club is noteworthy as he took a huge gamble by playing overseas without an NHL contract. The restricted free agent was unable to come to terms with Dallas prior to the lockout, but still proceeded to sign with Hamburg in early October and play in 19 games (recording 20 points.)
It was a risk, but Benn’s situation unfolded in a much better fashion than that of fellow unsigned RFA Michael Del Zotto. The Rangers rearguard tweaked his back playing for Rapperswil-Jona of the Swiss league and exited the team after just nine games.