Stars captain Jamie Benn said seeing teammates traded away this time of the year is tough. It's especially tough when that player is your brother. Benn talked this morning about the trade of his brother Jordie, whom the Stars dealt to Montreal Monday afternoon for defenseman Greg Pateryn and a fourth-round pick in 2017.
"You never want to lose a teammate and when it's your brother it makes it tougher," the Dallas captain said this morning. "We all know it's a business and if we had a better season going on then we wouldn't have put ourselves in this situation, and we'd be bringing players in instead of losing them. It was tough to lose him, much the way it was to lose Patty Eaves."
Jamie and Jordie played together over the course of six seasons with Dallas, starting with a few games in 2011-12 and then regularly since 2013-14.
"It was fun while it lasted and it was great," Benn said. "I wished him luck. He's got a great opportunity going to Montreal and playing for a great team. We're going to move forward here, and he's going to move on."
Jamie said it would be a good opportunity for Jordie to get out on his own and not play in the shadow of his superstar brother.
"I told him last night that he can be Jordie Benn and not Jamie Benn's brother," Benn said. "I think this is going to be great for him."
The Benn brothers will square off in a month when the Stars and Canadiens meet in Montreal on March 28.
"I said I would see him at center ice when the puck drops," Benn said.
Defenseman Greg Pateryn, acquired from Montreal in the Jordie Benn trade Monday, arrived at the American Airlines Center Tuesday just after the team's morning skate.
"It's exciting," Pateryn said. "Everything happened so fast, and you don't have time for everything to set in. But once it does it's not overwhelming; it's just being full of excitement. There's a little anxiety of what's to come, but it is all good emotion."
Pateryn is looking for a fresh start in Dallas. He struggled to find regular playing time in Montreal the past few seasons.
"I hope to bring some stability and dependability on the backend," Pateryn said. "I didn't find a consistent role with my old team, but I am looking to find that here. A fresh start is everything that I have been looking for."
Pateryn will not play tonight but could be in the lineup as soon as Thursday, according to Stars coach Lindy Ruff.
Niemi in goal tonight vs. Penguins
Antti Niemi was the first goaltender off the ice for the Stars at this morning's skate, so it appears he will get the start in net tonight against the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. With Jordie Benn traded and Greg Pateryn not playing, it's not clear who Lindy Ruff will scratch on defense tonight. Ruff said he was undecided if Remi Elie will play tonight and make his NHL debut.
"Haven't made a decision on that yet," Ruff said. "As a group up front, I think they went pretty well last game, so we'll see."
Cracknell, Janmark take part in morning skate; Hemsky close
Forward Ales Hemsky, who has been out since late October due to hip surgery, won't play tonight against Pittsburgh. But he could return later this week.
"Hemmer is a possibility for Thursday," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.
Adam Cracknell (lower body) and Mattias Janmark (knee surgery) both took part in this morning's optional skate. Janmark has been out since undergoing the knee procedure in late September.
"Matty is just in the process of coming back and skating," Ruff said. "He is not close. He is just getting a feel for it right now."
Ruff said whether Janmark could play this season is still up in the air.
"In his eyes, he would like to play, but with the type of injury he had whether that makes sense, even if we do get him close, we have to do the right thing," Ruff said. "So, we will see when that time comes. That is what we have to weigh."
Cracknell has been out since he was injured in the Feb. 18 game against Tampa Bay. He'll miss his third game tonight.
"Cracknell is surprisingly doing a lot better than we thought," Ruff said. "I still think he is a little ways away. He's pushing to get back early, and we're making sure we get him back healthy."
Matt Murray will get the start in goal tonight for the Penguins. Murray is 23-7-3 with a 2.27 goals-against average and .926 save percentage. Defenseman Kris Letang remains out with an upper-body injury, and defenseman Trevor Daley is out following knee surgery. The Penguins come into tonight's game on an 8-1-3 run.
Who: Pittsburgh Penguins at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars Projected Lineup
Jamie Benn - Cody Eakin - Brett Ritchie
Antoine Roussel - Tyler Seguin - Patrick Sharp
Lauri Korpikoski - Radek Faksa - Jason Spezza
Curtis McKenzie - Devin Shore - Jiri Hudler
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Jamie Oleksiak
Johnny Oduya - Stephen Johns
Scratched: Patrik Nemeth, Remi Elie, Greg Pateryn
Injured: Adam Cracknell (lower body), Ales Hemsky (hip), Mattias Janmark (knee)
Penguins Projected Lineup
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Jake Guentzel
Scott Wilson - Nick Bonino - Phil Kessel
Carl Hagelin - Evgeni Malkin - Patric Hornqvist
Tom Kuhnhackl - Matt Cullen - Eric Fehr
Brian Dumoulin - Ron Hainsey
Justin Schultz - Cameron Gaunce
Ian Cole - Chad Ruhwedel
Scratched: Carter Rowney, Steve Oleksy
Injured: Conor Sheary (upper body), Bryan Rust (upper body), Olli Maatta (hand), Trevor Daley (knee), Kris Letang (upper body)
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.