Jordie Benn: A Tale of Resolve
“It’s tough, you never want to lose a teammate, and when it’s your brother it makes it a little bit more tough” Stars Captain Jamie Benn
The concept of brothers playing together in the National Hockey League is surprisingly common. Recent history is full of examples: you have the Sedin twins together in Vancouver, the Staal brothers Eric and Jordan who played together in Carolina, and until this weekend you also had the Benn’s in Dallas.
What was different to many of the more famous brotherly combinations in the league was that usually both siblings tended to bring a fairly even contribution to the table. This was far from the truth for the Stars. Jordie and Jamie may have the same genes but when it comes to talent they couldn’t have been further apart.
Jamie Benn is the captain of the Dallas Stars, a two time NHL first team All Star, a former Art Ross winner, and an Olympic Champion in 2014 with Team Canada. Jordie on the other hand, has a phenomenal beard…
Jordie and Jamie (GettyImages)
This really never came as a surprise to Jordie though. Despite being the older brother, it was Jamie who broke into the league first, bypassing the American Hockey League in the process and became an immediate impact player in the Stars lineup back in 2009.
Benn the elder had to be more patient. For a start unlike his brother, he went undrafted. Jordie didn’t even break into the AHL until after Jamie was already an NHL regular but if Stars fans learnt anything about the older Benn is that he will make the best of what he has on a yearly basis.
While Jamie had a meteoric rise from being a lowly 5th round draft pick, Jordie took the more scenic route. He plugged away with the Texas Stars until the 2012-2013 when he finally made the breakthrough to a semi permanent NHL opportunity. Every year since he has been doubted, but he kept his spot on the Dallas Stars.
The brothers (GettyImages)
It is easy to forget that Jordie wasn’t always the solid bottom pairing defenseman he is today. In fact, the Benn name earned him no sympathy at all from the majority of the fan base. In fact, if anything it seemed to be the general consensus that he was maybe only stuck around to keep his younger brother happy.
Maybe that was true, we will never know. Jordie has a low ceiling as far as his talent goes, but over the last 3 seasons he has managed to mould that talent into what is now considered a quite serviceable NHL player. The Stars have obviously not been blessed with the strongest defensive corp in the last couple of seasons but Jordie was far from being the biggest problem anymore. You knew what you would get out of him, he was as reliable as they come. Not flashy by any stretch, but he would get the job done.
It is a testament to the commitment of Jordie Benn that after years of disapproval from the fans, that there was a definite sense of disappointment that he had been traded. Last week I wrote a piece on those Stars that may be traded at the deadline, and Jordie departing hadn’t even crossed my radar. This move shocked us all.
Jordie making his Montréal debut (GettyImages)
Perhaps it took nobody more by surprise than the brothers themselves. By all accounts, the trade gathered speed out of nowhere in a hurry on Sunday. Jordie is by no means a superstar like his younger brother, but he will bring a lot of value to Montréal especially with regards to physicality and penalty killing.
It was rather fitting that in the last of the over 300 NHL games the brothers played together, that Jordie assisted on the game winner by his younger sibling last Thursday against the Coyotes. It was a highlight reel strike which I am sure will be watched with fondness for many years in the Benn household.
At the end of the day, the Benn brothers got to play the sport they love together at the very pinnacle of the sport for many more years than they probably ever imagined. It will indeed be strange to see Jordie line up in something other than victory green but once again it is a credit to his dedication and resolve that Stars fans now feel a sense of loss. Best of luck Jordie, you will be missed.
“Now he can be Jordie Benn and not Jamie Benn’s brother. I think this is going to be great for him, and he can move on and move forward with his career. And I’m excited to see what happens with him.” Jamie Benn