Benn, who was suspended for two games in a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday afternoon, cross-checked captain Mark Stone of the Golden Knights, who lead the series 3-0 and can eliminate the Stars from the playoffs without Benn in the lineup on Thursday in Dallas.
“This isn’t new behavior from Jamie Benn,” tweeted Brad Galli, the TV sports anchor on 7 Action News. “Here’s the cross-check to the neck from Benn in 2021 that ended Dylan Larkin’s season.”
The similarities to the Larkin incident wasn’t lost on ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, who listened to Benn’s explanation of the cross-check earlier Wednesday afternoon and before Benn’s hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
“It was interesting to hear Jamie take responsibility for his body and for his stick, having done this same thing to Dylan Larkin a few years ago,” Wyshynksi said on Sportsnet’s podcast, “The Jeff Marek Show.”
“Benn said, obviously I would’ve liked to have not fallen on him and I guess use my stick as the landing point. Let me tell you right now. My text messages went aflame with people around the league, inside of teams, outside of teams. They said, ‘Oh my God, what did he just say?’
“If that’s the defense for Jamie Benn and this hearing, maybe it’ll be more than a game. Maybe they’ll just give him an extra game for the utter ridiculousness of, ‘I fell on him and used my stick as the landing point.’ His teammates did an admirable job of defending him last night but now it just sounds foolish, like a joke. Now the entire hockey world is talking about how he’s a buffoon.”
Red Wings fans remembered the Larkin incident too and posted comments on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon before the suspension was announced.
Larkin was hospitalized and spent eight weeks in a cervical collar after being cross-checked by Benn on April 20, 2021.
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