After the Blues locked up GM Doug Armstrong to a four-year extension last week, the focus has shifted to other managers in the final year of their contracts. One of those is Canucks GM Jim Benning. Speaking with the press, including Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre, team president Trevor Linden indicated that there will be no discussions on a new deal anytime soon. While he stated that he is pleased with the current direction of the team, Linden prefers to leave those discussions for the offseason. Benning is in his fourth season at the helm of the team.
Linden also indicated that center Bo Horvat may take longer than expected to make it back to the lineup than originally anticipated. While he was initially supposed to miss four-to-six weeks after breaking his foot on December 5th, the Canucks are now expected to be without their top pivot until after the All-Star break which falls three weeks from now.
Elsewhere out West:
- Blues defenseman Vince Dunn did not accompany the team for their two-game road trip, notes Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link). He is dealing with an illness that kept him out of the lineup on Thursday as well. The rookie rearguard has been a pleasant surprise this season, logging just under 17 minutes per game of ice time while recording seven points in 39 games.
- Kings defenseman Christian Folin is expected to be cleared to return to the lineup in advance of Saturday’s game against Nashville, reports Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider. He has been dealing with an upper-body issue for the last couple of weeks. As Los Angeles is at the maximum roster of 23 active players, they will need to make a corresponding move before they can activate Folin off injured reserve.
- Stars winger Remi Elie has recovered from his illness and is available to suit up on Saturday against Edmonton, notes Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). He had missed the last two games and is expected to slot in on the fourth line. Elie has four goals and three assists in 34 contests so far this season.