People of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
- Leonardo Da Vinci
It’s only been 8 games. I planned to wait 10 games before weighing in on the infancy of 24 year old Jamie Benn’s tenure as captain of the Stars but to be honest with you the baby Benn brother has been so impressive to me that I couldn’t help myself.
Just look at the body of work; Attentive defensive play. Left dot face-off stud. Consistent work-ethic game-in-game-out and in every practice. Point a game offense. Physical presence. Intangibles.
The Stars got drilled (in the end) in both games of the weekend business trip to SoCal, and in defeat the new captain displayed his natural ability to lead.
He commanded the dressing room following the 5-2 loss at Staples Center, not because ‘its what captains are supposed to do” but rather because its what is in him and he had some pointed words that the guys say had an impact early in the game the next night in Anaheim. Leadership.
Near the conclusion of that noxious 6-3 loss in the OC he grabbed Francois Beauchemin and bloodied the Ducks defenseman’s visor in a scrap that was small part frustration, big chunk retribution. Beauchemin took advantage of a defenseless Vern Fiddler earlier in the period after he was served up a “suicide” pass and Benn sent a message with a right fist meat soother that such a hit wasn’t kosher. Leadership.
That’s pretty impressive stuff from a guy who hasn’t been bestowed his team’s captaincy since playing for the Peninsula Eagles in his early teens.
I asked the two longest serving Dallas Stars about what they’ve seen in Jamie since the ‘C’ was stitched above the heart on the team’s fabulous new jerseys.
Stephane Robidas, who serves as Benn’s assistant captain, said, “Sometimes in past when a leader has talked in the room on teams I’ve played on, you sit there after and try to make sense of what he just said. Not with Jamie. When he does talk, it makes sense. And he’s only 24”
Trevor Daley said he knew the team was going ‘in that direction’ (giving Benn the captaincy) last year. “He committed to be in the best shape he could be in this summer. He’s not afraid to hold guys accountable, and at the same time he’s that same ‘dumb kid’ that likes to have fun and goof around.”
Robidas admires Benn’s ability to “take over a game” and “speak up in the room”.
Daley sees how “at ease Jamie is with the added responsibility.”
And big brother Jordie admits he “can see a BIG change in baby bro”.
Want more impressive early returns. Look inside the victory versus San Jose (blasted Thornton in the corner the hustled to net to screen Niemi on Seguin’s goal) or check the box score at Winnipeg (a goal and two assists) in a 4-1 win.
I know it’s only been eight games, and it hasn’t always been Da Vinci-esque masterpieces (more like street vendor Picassos) for the team, yet to me the big dainty barbarbarian of a left winger who leads this team in assists has shown that the Stars captaincy certainly rests on the right chest.
Jamie Benn “happens to things”.