The excitement over the Steven Stamkos Sweepstakes has gotten Jim Benning in trouble with the NHL.
The Vancouver Canucks GM was fined $50,000 by the league on Tuesday for tampering. The charges stem from comments Benning made on the radio last week about Stamkos, and Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.
Benning made comments about his desire to pursue Stamkos on Thursday — two days before teams are permitted to start discussions with unrestricted free agents. Teams and their executives are not allowed to publicly discuss players under contract with other teams.
“Last week I was trying to be candid with our fans and media about out efforts to improve our team but said too much about players on other teams,” Benning said in a statement released by the Canucks. “I have spoken personally to the NHL and the general managers involved to apologize and I accept the league’s ruling.”
Benning also said in the radio interview that he had discussed Subban with Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin. Bergegvin said Benning’s comments “crossed the line.”
“I spoke with Jim and accept his representation that he intended no harm with his comments and that he will handle similar questions from the media differently in the future,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.