Last night it was announced that the Dallas Stars had signed restricted free agent Jamie Benn to a new 5-year deal worth $26.25MM. The Stars undeniably are a much better team with Benn returning to their lineup sometime after Saturday so for now let’s look at some of the reaction surrounding the signing.
Joe Nieuwendyk, GM of the Stars, is pleased that a deal was able to get done so early into the shortened season, realizing the impact Benn has on his club.
“We know how important he is to our hockey club and at the end of the day, it’s the right thing. It’s good for our hockey club, it’s great for Jamie.” – courtesy of the associated press.
Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca states that Jamie Benn was eager to get a deal done so he could return to Dallas and play with his brother Jordie. There will be some brotherly love in Big D after Thursday and you can bet that Jamie will be buying the first round.
The Stars are doubtful that they’ll have Benn in the lineup for Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues thanks to immigration issues he has to sort through according to Nieuwendyk. The club is hoping that he’ll be ready for Monday night’s game when the Stars travel to Columbus.
Nieuwendyk went one step further to express his satisfaction that Benn will be a member of the Stars for the next five years and Dan Rosen, senior writer for NHL.com captured it on Twitter, calling him the cornerstone of the franchise.
Dallas fans can relax. Jamie Benn signs for 5 yrs, $26.25 million. GM Joe Nieuwendyk says he is “this franchise’s cornerstone player.”
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) January 25, 2013
Benn’s signing could have a direct impact on Ryan O’Reilly’s contract negotiations with the Colorado Avalanche. The 21-year old is holding for a new deal with the Avs and is said to be wanting $5MM annually on a short-term deal according to ESPN.com’s Victoria Matiash.
While O’Reilly doesn’t have the track record during his first three years in the league that Benn does, the 2nd round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft did score 18 goals and add 33 assists for 55 points in 81 games last season.
Seeing what Benn got over five years will only keep O’Reilly’s demands high and you have to think that the Avs won’t give him $5MM per season over two or three years until he can prove that he’s a Jamie Benn type player.