Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn will not play at the World Cup of Hockey. Although his rehab from surgery for a core muscle injury is going as expected and he'll be ready for Dallas' training camp, Benn isn't where he needs to be to start playing hockey for Canada early next month.
"He is disappointed," said Stars GM Jim Nill. "There is no bigger advocate of Hockey Canada than Jamie Benn . He would love to play for his country, but the timing of it just doesn't work."
Benn suffered the injury during his offseason training and underwent surgery in Philadelphia on July 14. Doctors put the recovery time at six weeks, and that time is up later this week. But Canada starts its World Cup training camp on Sept. 5 in Ottawa, plays its first exhibition game on Sept. 9 and the tournament then opens on Sept. 17.
"His rehab is right on schedule but with the way that tournament is set up, they are going and playing games right away, and he feels for him and the team, he is not at that level yet," Nill said. "As far as the timing of the operation, his rehab, and the tournament, it was just too quick."
With Benn not participating in the World Cup, he can use the extra time to get ready for Dallas' training camp, which opens Sept. 23 in Cedar Park.
"He'll be 100 percent ready to go," Nill said. "And he'll be fine to start the season."
Team Canada selected San Jose forward Logan Couture to replace Benn, who has won gold for Canada at the 2014 Olympics, and the 2009 World Junior Championship.
"We want to thank Jamie for his dedication to an extensive rehab program in an attempt to play for Canada. Unfortunately, Jamie will not be available and we wish him a speedy recovery," Team Canada GM Doug Armstrong said in a release.
Four Dallas Stars will play in the World Cup of Hockey: forward Tyler Seguin (Canada); forward Ales Hemsky (Czech Republic); forward Radek Faksa (Czech Republic); defenseman Esa Lindell (Finland).
The eight-team tournament, which will be played in Toronto, is set to run from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1.
Stars starting to skate
Training camp is one month away and some Dallas Stars players have started holding informal skates in Frisco. Among those on the ice Tuesday morning were center Jason Spezza , goaltender Kari Lehtonen , forward Antoine Roussel , defenseman Jordie Benn and forward prospect Denis Gurianov .
Two other familiar faces were on the ice Tuesday. Center Vernon Fiddler, who signed with New Jersey this summer, and defenseman Jason Demers, who signed with Florida, took part in the skate as well.
This story was not subject to the 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.