Benn was originally given a six-week timeline for his injury recovery, endangering his World Cup status. Six weeks will have passed this Thursday, but that doesn’t mean that Benn is at the level necessary to play in a tournament of this nature. He’s still expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Couture will edge out a group of talented forwards headlined by Corey Perry and Taylor Hall for Benn’s roster spot, after a spectacular playoff run with the San Jose Sharks last season. The 27-year old put up 30 points in the postseason, almost matching his output for the entire season after battling injury – one that almost cost him his leg.
As Dan Rosen of NHL.com points out, with the swap of Benn for Couture, Team Canada trades one of their few remaining wingers for another center. Brad Marchand is now the team’s only true winger, though many have played there at times during their careers.
Couture will be joining fellow Sharks Joe Thornton, Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic on Team Canada, while Tyler Seguin now remains as the only member from the Dallas Stars to make the team. Seguin was also presumably set to skate alongside Benn, and will now be matched with other linemates.