FRISCO, Texas -- Jamie and Jordie Benn spent the hockey offseason living together in downtown Victoria, British Columbia.
Jordie, a Stars defenseman prospect, noticed his little brother getting increased attention after his breakout NHL season in which he recorded 56 points in 69 games and proved to be one of Dallas' top players. Along the way, the play of 22-year-old "Benny" happened to plant the idea the forward could become the face of the franchise.
"He didn't act different at all, but there were definitely some people (in Victoria) that were like 'Oh, that's Jamie Benn,' " Jordie said. "I just had to laugh. It's weird to me that people recognized him."
With the Stars currently at training camp in Prince Edward Island and the preseason opening Tuesday at Montreal, the expectations will only rise this season for Benn, particularly with the loss of Brad Richards to free agency. Benn appears to be handling the new scrutiny just fine.
"Yeah, I think people say a lot of things (about me)," said Benn, who's 6-2, 208 pounds. "But I just come to the rink and have fun. I love it. I don't put too much pressure on myself.
"I want to play as much as I can and be a big part of this team. I'm going to have to be with Richy gone and the minutes that he played. I'm ready to play a bigger role."
This is also the last year remaining on Benn's contract (a $821,667 cap hit) before he becomes a restricted free agent.
Asked if he'd like to keep Benn a Star, general manager Joe Nieuwendyk simply smiled and said "Yeah, I think so."
Nieuwendyk praised Benn, but also noted that he's still young and doesn't want to put too much pressure on him.
Benn starred at winger early in his career before playing primarily center during the second half of last season. The adjustment seemed to work, and new coach Glen Gulutzan plans to keep him primarily at center.
"I'm open to anything," Gulutzan said. "Last year, he gave us such a presence at center, some speed and heaviness up the middle. He can play left wing, right wing and now center. ... I've never said this to Benny, but I've used him at everything. And we might have to get used to that, too."
Gulutzan coached Benn previously as he rapidly rose through the Stars' system. He said Benn's quiet demeanor is misleading when it comes to his desire to play hockey.
"You're never going to get a straight answer from Benny because he's pretty quiet," Gulutzan said. "But the expectations he has for himself are more than what everyone is putting on him. He has a burning passion to be very good."
Benn said he embraces the additional responsibility that comes with playing center and said he's comfortable there.
If he plays on a line this season with Steve Ott, Ott could help with one of Benn's learning curves, as he won just 43.1 percent of his faceoffs last season. Ott is among the league's best at 56.6 percent, so the two could transition between left wing and center.
"He's only getting better," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said of Benn. "Jamie's such a good kid, he's willing to do whatever it takes ... he's got an unbelievable release. I haven't seen a guy shoot a puck like that in a long, long time."
Well, that is something that isn't new. Jordie Benn said he's seen that shot since the two broke windows while growing up and shooting pucks in the family garage.
"I didn't think I would be here this quick, but things have worked out," Jamie said. "They've gone by pretty fast. I just have to keep making steps in my game and improving."