March 24, 2013 was a day that left many, if not all Dallas Stars fans shocked. The Stars’ captain of about 7 years, Brenden Morrow had been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Joe Morrow (no relation to Brenden) and a fifth round pick in the 2013 draft.
Morrow, now a member of the St. Louis Blues, first came to the Stars organization when he was drafted in the first round (25th overall) by the Stars in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft at the ripe age of 18. Morrow spent a few seasons in the WHL with the Portland Winter Hawks before being called up to the Stars in the 1999-00 season, proving to be a great pick, being a great offensive forward while also being a very gritty player that can hold his own in a fight. Over the years Morrow came to be a top player for the Stars, eventually becoming captain in 2006, replacing then captain Mike Modano. During his time as captain, Brenden Morrow led both on and off the ice, leading his team on the ice as well as being more vocal in the locker room, also being the second longest serving captain in Dallas Stars history (Derian Hatcher served as captain from 1995-2003, one year longer than Morrow).
While Morrow was a beloved member of the Dallas Stars and loves the team and fans back, both he and the organization were searching for new opportunities. Morrow was seeking a chance at the Stanley Cup while the Stars organization has been seeking to completely revamp and revitalize the franchise, prompting Morrow to waive his no-trade clause when given the opportunity to join the Penguins, leaving the Stars with no captain.
The Dallas Stars decided not to choose a new captain for the remainder of the season, instead having three alternate captains, but once the off-season rolled around, all eyes were on Benn.
Right from the start, Jamie Benn was the most popular choice for new captain, being an up and coming 24 year old with several seasons already under his belt, often being considered the next Mike Modano for the Stars organization. Benn began working harder than ever before to show his coaches and teammates that he not only could be entrusted with this responsibility, but he can excel at it. Despite being a very soft-spoken guy, Jamie has been able to be a vocal leader not only in the locker room, but on the ice, leading by example and always being a player that is there to help his teammates, currently leading his team in assists (17), points (24), as well as being tied for best +/- at +8. Benn’s season has shown tremendous improvement statistically, with his stats showing to be on track to Jamie having his best season yet.
Not only has Benn improved his playing, but so has his team. While the team has many fresh faces, the Stars have been playing much better than they have in recent years. The team appears to be much more motivated as well as being more confident in their playing. While, it doesn’t appear that they have a Stanley Cup team just yet, the Stars are showing much more improvement that will lead to the ultimate victory, led by their fearless captain, Jamie Benn.
A new star is rising in Dallas.