Canucks, Ben­ning stay­ing to­gether

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - Sports -

The Van­cou­ver Canucks have given gen­eral man­ager Jim Ben­ning more time to try to re­build the strug­gling NHL fran­chise.

Ben­ning, who was in the last year of his cur­rent deal, has been signed to a mul­ti­year con­tract ex­ten­sion, the team said Wed­nes­day. The deal is be­lieved to be three years.

The Canucks are cur­rently mired near the bot­tom of the NHL stand­ings and are in dan­ger of miss­ing the play­offs for the third con­sec­u­tive year.

“It’s been hard,” Ben­ning said about re­build­ing the fran­chise. “Los­ing is never fun. I knew com­ing it was go­ing to be a lot of work.

“The tough part of it is the de­vel­op­ment. If you draft well, the de­vel­op­ment of those play­ers, you can’t seem to get them up and go­ing fast enough.”

As the sea­son pro­gressed, ques­tions be­gan to sur­face if the Canucks would keep Ben­ning or de­cide to head in an­other di­rec­tion.

Trevor Lin­den, the Canucks’ pres­i­dent of hockey op­er­a­tions, praised the work Ben­ning has done and said it was im­por­tant to main­tain con­ti­nu­ity mov­ing for­ward.

“It’s a re­sults-ori­en­tated busi­ness,” Lin­den told a news con­fer­ence at Rogers Arena. “I know there has been some chal­lenges in that re­gard. I also rec­og­nize there is a lot of good things hap­pen­ing in our or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“Al­low­ing this man­age­ment group, who I think has con­tin­ued to do things bet­ter, to con­tinue on that path, is im­por­tant.”

Van­cou­ver took a 22-28-6 record into Wed­nes­day night’s game against the Florida Pan­thers. Their 50 points left the Canucks 14th out of 15 teams in the West.

Cp

Jim Ben­ning

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