‘Great mystery’ if Benn is 100 per cent for opener

Doug MacLean, Nick Kypreos and Daren Millard give their 2015-16 predictions for who will win the NHL's scoring titles.

The reigning NHL scoring champ might not be 100 per cent healthy when the puck drops on the 2015-16 campaign.

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn had separate surgeries on his hips this off-season, and it is not certain that he or fellow Dallas Stars forward Ales Hemsky — who underwent a hip surgery of his own in May — will be at their peak when their season starts Thursday vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“That is the great mystery,” head coach Lindy Ruff told the Stars website.

“I don’t know quite where we are at. I don’t know that they know where they are at. They are obviously getting better, but they are still missing practices. Part of this is to make sure that we don’t have a setback. We are trying to do the right thing, and the right thing is they miss quite bit of practice time, and they miss quite a bit of game time.”

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After taking some time off the ice with “general soreness,” Benn returned to practice Tuesday and skated on a line with Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin. Hemsky did not skate Tuesday.

Both are expected in the opening-night lineup, however.

“We knew we were going to be touch-and-go through the pre-season and before the season started,” Ruff said.

After missing the playoffs last year, in part due to an injury to Seguin, the Stars are a trendy pick to take a leap forward this season.

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