Benn Right on Schedule
FRISCO—Just over two weeks after undergoing surgery for a core muscle issue, Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn appears ready to resume skating as soon as this week.
“I feel pretty good. I’m making progress,” Benn said on Saturday after an event at Stars headquarters for the Little Rookies program. “Much like last summer [after my double-hip surgery], these things take time. The hardest part is just trying not to do too much too early.”
Benn, 27, is also just over two weeks removed from signing an eight-year, $76 million contract extension that will pay him $9.5 million per season, putting him among the NHL’s highest-paid players, and keep him wearing Victory Green at least through the end of the 2024-25 campaign.
Of course, the bump in pay is nice for Benn, who won the 2015 Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s point leader, but that isn’t why he plays the game.
“I don’t think the money matters. Each summer when you’re training in the gym, you think about the past season, why it ended so early or how it ended and you have a little motivation thinking about that,” Benn said. “You don’t work all year and all summer for the money you get paid, you work to try and win the Stanley Cup. I think that’s the biggest motivation, should be behind any hockey player.”
The Stars won’t start training camp until mid-September, but Benn, along with teammate Tyler Seguin who is recovering from a calf and Achilles injury he sustained during the first round of the playoffs, have both been selected to play for Canada in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, which will run from mid-September through early October.
Canada’s first practice is scheduled for September 5th, a date Benn plans on keeping. “As of right now, yeah [I plan on playing in the World cup],” Benn said. “I think this is a surgery that I’m able to come back a little quicker than double-hip surgery. That’s the main focus I’m training towards being able to make it for World Cup. We’ll just see what happens.”
Benn said there was never any thought given to leaving Dallas, especially since he now lives here year round. And if there is any concern about his durability coming off another offseason surgery, there shouldn’t be. After all, No. 14 just completed his second straight season where he skated in all 82 games, something he attributes to an ever-evolving approach in how he takes care of his body.
“I think it’s just probably a little bit of everything. I didn’t think I would feel as good as I did during the year,” Benn said. “You definitely have to do a lot of extra stuff than usual, but it opens up your mind to maybe you should be able to do this even without two bad hips, and taking care of your body and putting in the time after practice without the trainers and even outside of the rink.”