The Vancouver Canucks disappointing 2-5 start to begin the season isn’t a good sign, especially in a shortened season. The team’s record is bad, but the team hasn’t looked good in the process. While Canucks’ fans have always had a poor relationship with general manager Jim Benning over the last seven years, things have gotten worse, according to The Athletic’s Harman Dayal and Thomas Drance (subscription required).
Benning has found himself on the hot seat with criticism coming from Hockey Night in Canada’s Brian Burke, who described Benning as being under “tremendous pressure.” Despite the team’s early struggles to the season, much blame has been placed at Benning’s feet, which includes the team’s choice to not retain any of their three top free agents last offseason: Jacob Markstrom, Chris Tanev and Tyler Toffoli, as well as the fact that the team’s salary cap is critical, especially considering the bloated contract of Loui Eriksson (two years at $6MM AAV).
- While nothing specific was said about the matter, new Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois, during a press conference with reporters, was asked whether he would consider signing with the Jets long-term. “It already feels good to be here,” Dubois said as part of a long answer which also included lots of praise for Winnipeg and the organization, via The Athletic’s Murat Ates. Dubois said that his father, who works for the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, has been a big ambassador for the city. Dubois has two years to make a decision after signing a two-year, $10MM deal just before the season started.
- With little production coming from the Edmonton Oilers’ first line, the team has moved first-line regular Zack Kassian to the third line and promoted Jesse Puljujarvi to the first line in hopes of shaking up the team’s offense, according to David Staples of the Edmonton Journal. The 22-year-old hasn’t done much on the third line with just an assist in six games, but the scribe writes that he hasn’t fit well next to center Kyle Turris, who is struggling offensively, suggesting a move next to McDavid makes sense.