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Benn wants to sign extension with Stars: report

Dallas willing to negotiate to avoid free agency next season

by @nhl

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn said Friday he wants to sign a contract extension rather than play next season as a pending free agent.

"This is where I want to play; this is where I want to be," Benn told the Dallas Morning News. "I don't think it's going to be a problem."

Stars general manager Jim Nill told the newspaper he's aware of Benn's desire for a new contract and will speak with him and his agent, Rich Evans, in the coming days.

"I've got to meet with Jamie over the next week or 10 days; going to start discussing that, and then I'll get a hold of his people," Nill said. "It's something we'd like to start up, if it's something we can get done in July, August."

Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each signed an eight-year, $84 million extension in July 2014, when each had one season left on his contract. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos was seeking an extension prior to this season but did not get one and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Benn had 89 points this season and is a Hart Trophy finalist, along with Kane and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who signed a 12-year extension in June 2012 with time remaining on his contract.

This was Benn's second straight 80-plus-point season, and he led the Stars with 41 goals. He led the Stars with 15 points in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games; Dallas lost Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round to the St. Louis Blues.

Benn, who was picked by Dallas in the fifth round (No. 129) of the 2007 NHL Draft, has been Stars captain since 2013-14. He won the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer in the NHL last season.

His brother, Stars defenseman Jordie Benn, will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

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