Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/28/12 at 12:39 PM ET
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars are laying low on the Jamie Benn talks. While there has been recent discussion between assistant GM Frank Provenzano and Rich Evans (the agent for Benn), GM Joe Nieuwendyk said there is nothing imminent, and both sides appear to be very patient.
In an e-mail with Evans, he said that Benn would like to keep negotiations out of the media “for the time-being.”
And that’s probably a good sign. Both sides seem to be treating this very professionally, and both sides seem to be very respectful of the other.
“Jamie Benn is going to be a Dallas Star, and this is just part of the process,” Nieuwendyk said. “He’s an important player to us, and it’s not like he’s going anywhere.”
The Stars have sent Benn a qualifying offer and he will clearly turn that down. As a fifth round draft pick on an entry level contract, he had a cap hit of $821,667 for the past three seasons, so it’s time for him to get a big raise. But the qualifying offer is part of the process. Because of it, the Stars retain Benn’s rights and can match any offer that another team might present to him.
There is a little caveat for fans, though. As long as Benn remains unsigned, he is open to an offer from another team _ and that could make for a little more tension over the summer.
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