Aug 20: The team has officially announced the three-year contract extension through the 2022-23 season. Owner Francesco Aquilini released a short statement on his GM:
It’s great that Jim has agreed to continue his work as General Manager. His experience, relationships, and hockey knowledge are invaluable. We’re committed to building a winning team and getting back among the NHL elite for the long term. There are no shortcuts, but we’ve embarked on a path to get there, and I have confidence in Jim’s ability to see it through.
Aug 16: The Vancouver Canucks have signed GM Jim Benning to an extension according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. Benning has been in the position since 2014 and had just one season left on his current deal.
We examined the work that Benning has done to create his roster recently, diving into the Canucks’ salary cap situation and finding them pretty close to the ceiling with Brock Boeser and Nikolay Goldobin left to sign. The biggest cause of concern is Loui Eriksson who still carries three seasons left on his unfortunate free agent deal at a $6MM cap hit, but many have critiqued other recent signings like Tyler Myers and moves to acquire talent like J.T. Miller. While both are useful players, the Canucks don’t seem to be at a level to compete at this moment unless their young core takes a big step forward.
It’s that young core that is probably Benning’s biggest accomplishment. Though he inherited Bo Horvat, Benning has been able to add several other potential star players in the draft including Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson and Boeser. The drafts haven’t been all roses as 2016 fifth overall pick Olli Juolevi has still yet to make his NHL debut and 2014 sixth overall pick Jake Virtanen is still trying to put it all together, but there is at least some hope that the team will compete down the road. The question now is just when will that success happen?
After making the playoffs in his first year as GM, the Canucks have failed to qualify for the postseason tournament in each of the last four seasons and have compiled an overall 175-186-49 record under Benning. Travis Green is the second head coach hired and has shown some promise, but needs to get the team to that next level and really compete for a spot in the Pacific Division.
Much of that will rely on whether or not the team gets Boeser signed before the start of the season, though there doesn’t seem to be any animosity between the two sides. Just like with a dozen other front offices around the league, restricted free agent negotiations have crawled to a snail’s pace this summer. Now that Benning has a little job security under his belt, perhaps things will pick up.
Nothing says extension for a GM like bad trades, signings, and drafts…
Bad drafts? Are you insane?
Name a draft pick from the 2nd round onwards under Bennings tenure that has played 40 games.
He’s had a couple real nice picks in Pettersson and Hughes but there’s already been a few disappointments that were high pick by him. Virtanen, Juolevi isn’t looking that great, and not much out of the deeper rounds either.
2014 Tryamkin, Forsling, and Demko would have played more than 10 if he didn’t have a concussion this year.
2015 Adam Gaudette
Looking at 2014-2016, (no player drafted after the first in ‘17 or ‘18 have played a game yet) 51 out of 542 players drafted in the second round or later have played 40 games. That’s a 9% success rate. Benning is 3/16 not counting Thatcher for an 18.75% success rate. Doubles league average
Doesn’t matter. Those are decent picks in the latter rounds but nothing truly great. He’s had two high flops out of 4 so far. The Boeser pick did make up for one of those though I guess.
Virtanen could’ve been better but they kept him instead of letting him develop in the WHL one more year and probably Utica the year after. Instead he plays half a season and gets 10 minutes a night. Don’t knock the draft, knock the development
Definitely a possibility
Rip Canucks! Have fun signing forth line plugs to terrible deals!
guess he used his kissing up to boss skills. he was born in alberta. lol
Breaking news: Jay Beagle signs 8 year 60 million dollar extension
Should of hired both Blue Men for GM , might work out better , atleast they are liked. and know hockey.
The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant
The Canucks under Benning are basically the same as the Oilers under MacTavish. They are constantly one of the 10 worst teams in the league and then usually draft a quality prospect with that top 10 pick. However, any moron should be able to get quality players when drafting as high as they are, they never get any true NHL talent outside of the first round and they are terrible in signing free agents. The only difference is Benning has never killed anyone, as far as we know. In fact he might just be the Craig James of the NHL.
Only thing that is getting killed is hockey with the GM’s and players , with their greediness and ego’s I play 2 years now I want $10 million, GM taking extensions and not working with their team to sign their top young players, lot of players want be suiting up for start of season , hope all the rookies and prospects show and make these free agents look at what they are doing to the game.