San Jose Sharks Defenseman Matt Benning Ruled Out for Season

William Espy

The San Jose Sharks announced today that defenseman Matt Benning has had a successful hip surgery and that he will be out for the remainder of the 2023-24 NHL season, as a result. They noted that they expect him to return for training camp for the 2024-25 season. The 29-year-old defenseman is in his second season in San Jose, but it was cut short after just 14 games.

Sharks Have Options to Fill Gap

Benning’s last appearance this season was just over a month ago, as he was injured during the Sharks’ game against the New York Rangers on Dec. 3rd. Originally, he was believed to just be week-to-week but was placed on the injured reserve on Dec. 12. The 29-year-old defenseman will have two seasons remaining on his current contract with the Sharks following the 2023-24 season. He was originally signed to a four-year deal as a free agent during the 2022 offseason following his departure from the Nashville Predators.

Matt Benning, San Jose Sharks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Benning being out of the lineup will result in some younger players getting an opportunity, as we’ve already seen. Henry Thrun has recently become a regular in the Sharks’ lineup and has performed fairly well. If the Sharks end up moving a defenseman closer to the trade deadline, Benning’s loss will certainly have a much bigger impact as the season goes on.

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He’s a player that the Sharks expected to rely on heavily following the departure of Erik Karlsson during the summer as he was the most experienced right-handed defenseman on the roster. The acquisitions of Ty Emberson and Calen Addison this season will help fill the gap left by Benning’s injury, and it may be possible that we see Leon Gawanke get an opportunity in the near future as well if they need to recall more depth. Given his current contract status, it’s safe to say that Benning likely won’t have to worry about losing his roster spot prior to next year’s training camp.

William Espy News,San Jose Sharks,Matt Benning

2024-01-04 19:50:00 , San Jose Sharks News & Opinion

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