If Jamie Benn hailed from anywhere besides Canada, he’d be a shoo-in to head to the 2014 Winter Olympics. He drips intangibles, is a proven leader and knows how to score goals. The Canadians are loaded though—in case you haven’t noticed—and Benn wasn’t even invited to the team’s orientation camp this summer.
He’s making a strong case to not only be included on Team Canada, but to play big minutes for the squad as well.
It’s obviously their decision. But it’s given me the fire for the start of the [NHL] season. I want to be on that Olympic team. I’m going to have to go out in the first half of the season and make them want to pick me. I’m just going to have to have the best first half of the year I can have and make an impact for the Dallas Stars.
Benn scored six points last night as the Stars downed the Calgary Flames by a 7-3 final. If he didn’t already have Canada’s attention, he probably does now. The timing of the outburst is significant, as Steven Stamkos recently went down with a devastating injury and his Olympic prospects are in doubt.
Even if Stamkos is able to go (something that is a real possibility), Benn is making a strong case to wear the Maple Leaf in Sochi. He has 22 points through 19 games, and is currently seventh overall in league scoring. He trails Sidney Crosby by two points for the scoring lead among all Canadian players.
Tack on the grit and physicality that Benn brings to the ice, and Canada is going to have a tough time leaving him at home once the Olympics roll around. His goal was to have a strong first half, and so far he’s accomplished that.