Team Canada has replaced injured Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn with San Jose’s Logan Couture, Hockey Canada announced Tuesday.
Benn underwent surgery in mid-July to repair a core muscle injury. It will keep the Art Ross Trophy winner from participating in the international best-on-best tournament set to kick off in mid-September.
“We are excited to add Logan to Team Canada. He has developed into a top player in the NHL, and his versatility will benefit our group of forwards. In making this decision the management group consulted with our coaching staff and determined that Logan was the best fit to help fill the role that Jamie was projected to play on Team Canada,” said Team Canada’s general manager Doug Armstrong. “We want to thank Jamie for his dedication to an extensive rehab program in an attempt to play for Canada. Unfortunately, Jamie Benn will not be available and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
Couture has regularly been an also-ran for Team Canada. Always in the discussion, never on the team. This will be the first time the Sharks center dons the red maple leaf since the 2007 U18 World Championship.
— Team Canada Men (@HC_Men) August 23, 2016
The loss of Benn is massive for Canada. He’s without a doubt one of the best players in the world right now. But as far as a replacement, Couture offers a versatile scoring center. Coach Mike Babcock already had a wealth of options for line construction and the addition of Couture maintains that versatility.