Jamie Benn's surgery puts World Cup spot in jeopardy
Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn underwent surgery on Thursday that puts his participation in the World Cup of Hockey tournament in jeopardy.
Benn, who finished second in the NHL scoring race with 89 points and was a finalist for the Hart Trophy as league MVP, will require a six-week rehabilitation process after having a core muscle injury repaired.
In a statement, Stars general manager Jim Nill said that Benn is on schedule to be ready for the 2016-17 season. "Jamie will be re-evaluated [in six weeks] at which time his availability for the World Cup of Hockey will be determined."
Benn was one of the initial group of 16 players named to represent tournament favorites Canada and was expected to be a go-to offensive weapon. His absence from the lineup would leave a massive hole on the left wing, where Canada lacks world-class depth.
If Benn can't go, Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils would be the favorite to replace him. Other options could include Ryan O'Reilly and Brendan Gallagher. The tournament begins on Sept. 17 in Toronto and runs until Oct. 1.