It’s official: Jim Benning is the next GM of the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks announced the hiring of the now-former assistant GM of the Boston Bruins Wednesday night, after earlier reports he would soon be named to the position.
“There were moments of clarity for me in speaking with Jim that we just really connected on a hockey level,” said Linden. “Our beliefs on how success is built in the National Hockey League were very aligned.”
The Canucks enter the off-season with two UFAs and five RFAs off the NHL roster and about $11.7 million in cap space. But more than that, they have an indentity crisis to fix. After a miserable failure of a season under John Tortorella, can they somehow recover to former glory? Who will be the next coach?
The good thing for the Canucks is that Benning will start right away. The Bruins hadn’t made clear if they would give up Benning for the draft, but Linden mentioned they would have their new GM for the June 27-28 event.
“Jim recognizes that there’s a lot of work to do and I think we’ve got some big decisions to make heading into the draft and certainly the summer,” Linden said. “We’re going to get to work on that, obviously the combine is next week and the great thing about this situation is Jim is able to start immediately with us, so he’ll be in Toronto for the combine with us.”
In this video at least, Linden says the Canucks will be a playoff team next season.