According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Vancouver Canucks will name Jim Benning as their next GM later this week.
It’s been the worst kept secret in hockey.
Ever since the process started under Trevor Linden, Benning has been the favorite to win the Canucks GM job.
Benning has been the assistant GM in Boston since 2006 and won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2011. Prior to that, he served as director of amateur scouting for the Buffalo Sabres, as well as a scout for Anaheim and Buffalo. Benning also played 610 games in the NHL and spent four seasons on the Canucks blueline.
With extensive history in an NHL front office and evaluating talent, Benning, although not a familiar big “name” candidate, appears to be the smart, home run pick the Canucks need.
When the team hired Trevor Linden as president of hockey operations back in April, he was brought in as the face of the team. With the Canucks in such disarray, Linden’s biggest role will be his presence: a face the fans can rally around and to reassure them of the new direction. But Linden himself won’t be directing the inevitable roster adjustments.
The GM hiring is for dough, rather than show. And Benning is the exact type of experienced talent evaluator with a winning background they need.
The question now will be whether or not Benning will be at Vancouver’s draft table. The Bruins have made no mention on their plans, but it’s conceivable they won’t let him go until after the draft, since he has so much of their intelligence.