Canucks, Benning staying together
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.