Jamie Benn will play his first preseason game of 2015 on Tuesday when the Dallas Stars host the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center. Benn, who had surgery on both his hips in the offseason, has been held out of the first four exhibition games.
Benn has been practicing all through camp and got into a camp scrimmage. Now, the Stars believe he is ready to see some game action as he gets ready for the regular season.
“He is skating well, and this is part of where we want to get him to. We’re hoping to get him the last two out of three (preseason games),” Ruff said.
So, is Benn 100 percent?
“I think he is close. I think there is a comfort level where he is,” Ruff said. “100 percent? I don’t know. That’s putting a number on it, and it’s hard.”
Forward Ales Hemsky, who also underwent offseason hip surgery, will get in his first preseason game Tuesday as well. Hemsky has been on the same path as Benn, taking part in all the practices and getting into a camp scrimmage so far.
“We’ll evaluate after each game and see where they are. We’ll give them enough time to try to get ready,” Ruff said.
Stars trim roster; Janmark, Elie and Faksa still here
The Dallas Stars made another round of roster moves Monday, trimming the roster by eight players. Among the players sticking around for now are three young forwards: Remi Elie, Radek Faksa and Mattias Janmark.
“I think they have really played well,” Ruff said. “When you look at our lineup we are looking for a certain role; we’re looking for a certain type of player and those are the players so far that have fit that and played well.
“We had meetings with kids today and everybody has played hard. If you are not inside your certain role where you are going to play, where you are going to get a certain amount of ice time, then you’ve got to go down and play.
“Of the guys that are still here, Elie scored a heck of a goal last night. His puck pressure and tenacity have been excellent. Faksa is a guy who has been a big man on faceoffs, and we’ve been using him on penalty killing. We’ve liked what he has done. Janmark was really good in Traverse City, really good in the scrimmages and I thought last night he was in on the most scoring chances for us. He’s doing his part to make us make a tough decision.”
Here were Monday’s roster moves:
Loaned to Texas (AHL): D Mattias Backman; D Ludwig Bystrom; D Julius Honka; D Stephen Johns; D Esa Lindell; C Travis Morin; C Devin Shore
Released from ATO: RW Mads Eller
*Jason Spezza did not practice again Monday. Ruff said it was a maintenance day. “We ordered parts, and they are back ordered,” Ruff quipped, adding there is a chance Spezza could play Tuesday vs. St. Louis.
*Curtis McKenzie did not practice Monday. “He got a little nicked up last night. Nothing that would keep him from playing,” Ruff said. “We just kept him off for maintenance, too.”
*Forward Jason Dickinson is out with an injury as well. He did not practice but did skate prior to Monday’s session. Ruff said Dickinson could be a few days away.
Monday’s practice lineup
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Sharp
Valeri Nichushkin – Mattias Janmark – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Patrick Eaves
Travis Moen – Vernon Fiddler – Colton Sceviour
Remi Elie – Radek Faksa
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya – Jason Demers
Jyrki Jokipakka – Jordie Benn
Patrik Nemeth – Jamie Oleksiak
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.