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Stars' Benn skating more often after hip surgeries

by David Satriano /

Jamie Benn, the NHL's reigning scoring champion, is skating three times a week and could be ready for Dallas Stars training camp in September after offseason hip surgeries.

"Workouts are picking up, but it's still controlled," Benn told The Dallas Morning News for a report published Wednesday. "I get pretty antsy at times, but the trainers remind me that I've got plenty of time and just take it slow."

Benn, who had 35 goals and 87 points last season, had surgery on one hip in late April and on the other in early May. The Stars said his expected recovery time was 4-5 months.

The Dallas captain hopes to be back on the ice for opening night Oct. 8 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"We need to get off on the right foot, we need to be prepared, and we need to build on the things we did at the end of last season," Benn said.

The Stars won seven of their final 10 games in 2014-15. They ranked second in the League in goals (3.13 per game) but were 26th in goals allowed (3.13).

"There were a lot of expectations that we would be a great offensive team, and sometimes I think that can shoot you in the foot," Benn said. "I know I messed up a few pucks early last season by trying to be too fancy, and I learned from it. You just need to play a simple team game and then when the opportunity comes, you can let your skill take over."

Benn has played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs once in his six seasons. Dallas finished seven points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the postseason from the Western Conference, but the offseason acquisitions of Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya from the Chicago Blackhawks add veteran leadership and playoff experience.

"I think the biggest thing is they know how to win," Benn said of Sharp, who won the Cup three times with Chicago (2010, 2013, 2015), and Oduya, who won it twice (2013, 2015). "They have lived it, and that's something not a lot of us have done yet."

Forward Tyler Seguin (Boston Bruins, 2011) and defenseman Alex Goligoski (Pittsburgh Penguins, 2009) are the only other Stars who have won the Stanley Cup.

"[Sharp] and [Oduya] have been through it all," Benn said, "They've been in Game 7s, they've been the Finals, they've been in situations during the year where you need to win to make the playoffs. They have been through a lot, and I definitely think I can learn from them."

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