Dallas Stars captain and the NHL’s top scorer Jamie Benn will undergo hip surgery after playing the majority of the season injured, Stars general manager Jim Nill said Monday during the team’s season-ending news conference.
Recovery time for the procedure is four to five months and the league’s Art Ross Trophy winner (points leader) should be available for training camp in the fall, Nill said.
“There was a lot of pain, a lot of nights that we thought he wouldn’t be playing,” Nill said. “And he’d come to us and say, ‘No, I’m a player.’ That’s Jamie Benn. We didn’t hear about it all season.”
Benn was administered two or three shots during the season to help him manage the pain, the result being an 87-point season and the franchise’s first Art Ross Trophy.
“To gut it out the way he did and have the success, that just shows that we had a great leader on this team,” Nill said.
Stars forward Ales Hemsky will have the same procedure after sustaining a similar injury early in the season. Nill said Hemsky was unable to practice much during the season because of the pain.
The surgery is similar to that undergone by Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin earlier in the season and rookie defenseman John Klingberg prior to the season. Klingberg played the entire season, scoring 40 points in 65 games. Nichushkin returned to the Stars lineup April 3 and played in the last four games after being injured Nov. 6.
Benn made no mention of an injury to the media during Monday’s exit meetings at StarsCenter Frisco.
“I was healthy all year. I played a lot of games this year and that’s it,” Benn said.
It was a bittersweet season.
The Stars failed to meet their lofty expectations after breaking a five-year playoff drought last year.
“We’re close,” Benn said. “I think we can beat any team in this league. That’s why it’s so tough being here today. We should be in the playoffs. We could beat every team in the playoffs.”
Center Tyler Seguin will have the longest break of his career, missing the playoffs for the first time in his five NHL seasons. Sequin, who missed 10 games to injury this season, scored 77 points, including a career-high-tying 37 goals, equaling his goals from last season.
“I’d say it’s a disappointing year,” Seguin said. “First year to be injured and to miss all those games. I guess it was more frustrating than disappointing. I had a good start, but it’s just frustrating.”
Seguin said the team needs to get off to a faster start next season and emphasized team defense.
“We’ve got to find a way to improve our game for the season next year,” Benn said. “I think we got a little behind the eight ball this year and got too deep in a hole and couldn’t get ourselves out of it. We’ve got to find a way to get out early next year.”