Jamie Benn signs huge extension, may miss World Cup of Hockey with abdominal injury
Stars forward will make $9.5 million per season starting in 2017-2018
Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn signed an eight-year, $76 million US contract extension Friday.
The team announced the deal a day after Benn had surgery to repair an abdominal muscle injury.
"The Stars are the only organization I know and Dallas is home to me," Benn said in a statement. "In working with the Gaglardi family and [general manager] Jim Nill, they have made it clear that they are dedicated to winning, and winning the right way. I'm happy to commit to that process for eight more years. My teammates and I value the passion and dedication that we receive from Stars fans and we're looking forward to getting this season started."
The 26-year-old Benn had a career-high 89 points on 41 goals and 48 assists last season. He also had five goals and 10 assists in 13 playoff games.
Benn has one more year on a contract that has a cap hit of $5.25 million next season. His new deal will kick in for the 2017-2018 season.
"Jamie has evolved into one of the most complete players in the NHL and his ability to lead our team is second to none," Nill said in a statement. "He impacts the game in so many ways and this signing was extremely important for the direction of the franchise. ... He's our leader and does things the right way, every day."
Nill said the full recovery time is six weeks for the abdominal injury. It wasn't clear when or how Benn got injured.
That timeframe puts Benn on schedule to be ready for the NHL season, but creates uncertainty about his availability to participate for Canada in the World Cup of Hockey that begins in mid-September.
Benn has 192 goals and 256 assists in 508 career games.
Schwartz remains with Blues
Jaden Schwartz has agreed to a five-year deal with the St. Louis Blues worth $26.75 million US.
Schwartz, a 2010 Blues draft pick, became a restricted free-agent in July, but avoided arbitration to remain with St. Louis through the 2020-21 season.
Drafted in 2010, Schwartz has spent his entire five-year career with the Blues. Despite fracturing his ankle last season and missing 49 games, Schwartz still managed to help the Blues get to the Western Conference final for the first time since 2001.
He scored eight goals and 14 assists in 33 regular season games, missing most of the season with a fractured ankle. He returned in time for playoffs and had 14 points in 20 games as the Blues ultimately lost in the Western Conference final to the San Jose Sharks.
Leafs sign Sparks
The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed goalie Garret Sparks to a one-year, two-way contract. Financial terms were not available.
Sparks, who was 6-9-1 with a 3.02 goals-against average last season, is expected to serve as backup to Frederik Anderson, who was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in a trade last month and signed to a five-year contract.