The Vancouver Canucks extended their general manager Jim Benning today, rewarding the work he’s done to start a rebuild around a new core of young players. Speaking with media at the press conference (via Rick Dhaliwal of News 1130), Benning reiterated that he’s been working the phones to try and make his team better and will use free agency to “add players who will help support the young players.”
Heading into the trade deadline, the Canucks have a few expiring contracts to auction off in Thomas Vanek and Erik Gudbranson, while big decisions will still have to be made over the future of Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The twins are pending free agents and will turn 38 before next season, but could still be brought back to provide that support to Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser and the rest of the young Vancouver players. “Picks and prospects are going to be like gold” says Benning when asked about the trade deadline, an exciting prospect for fans hoping for no quick fixes.
- Speaking of GMs trying to fix a struggling franchise, Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers said on Sportsnet radio yesterday that he’ll only look for long-term benefits at the trade deadline and avoid “kneejerk reactions.” The Panthers have played better of late, but still find themselves well out of the race in the Atlantic Division. Though a wildcard spot is still definitely within reach, it doesn’t sound like Florida is willing to spend at the deadline to try and get over that hump.
- The NHL handed out several fines today, issuing maximum penalties to Madison Bowey, Dustin Byfuglien and Deryk Engelland for separate incidents. The three players will face harsher penalties in the future, and draw a watchful eye from the Department of Player Safety.