Jim Benning to be named Canucks' GM: report
New president Linden to appoint replacement for fired GM Gillis
Jim Benning spent about four seasons with the Vancouver Canucks in the 1980s, and many hockey observers now have him pegged as the team's next general manager.
TSN first reported Tuesday that Benning would be chosen by the Canucks for the post, and reported Wednesday that a deal has been reached and a press conference will be held Friday.
There has been no word from the Canucks camp, and it's important to point out that several hockey pundits had both Ray Shero and Dan Byslma being fired by the Pittsburgh Penguins. As it turned out, Bylsma was given a reprieve, at least until Pittsburgh's new general manager meets with the coach.
Benning would join Vancouver from their 2011 Stanley Cup final foe, Boston. The 51-year-old has been with the Bruins for eight years.
Bruins president and Comox, B.C., native Cam Neely seemed resigned on Tuesday to the likelihood that Benning was moving to another club.
"We have given Jim permission to talk, and he's talked to a couple of different teams," said Neely. "That's what happens when you have success, other teams look at other organizations that have had success and start inquiring about your management group."
Time in Boston, Buffalo
Benning joined the Bruins in 2006, one of the first moves of Peter Chiarelli's tenure as general manager.
Benning started as director of player personnel before spending the last seven years as assistant G.M. He previously had spent about a decade in various positions with the Buffalo Sabres.
While he's spent the past two decades working professionally in the east, Benning is from Edmonton and retains ties to Oregon, where he played junior hockey with Portland.
Vancouver fired GM Mike Gillis on April 8, ushering in former Canucks captain Trevor Linden a day later as the new president of hockey operations. Three weeks later, John Tortorella was fired after one tumultuous season as Vancouver's head coach.
Ed Willes of The Province reported in late April that Linden and Neely had met. It wasn't clear if it was a general confab between highly successful players who are now in front-office positions, or if Linden's interest in his former Canucks teammate Benning was broached.
On the very same day Benning was hired by the Bruins back in 2006, former NHL player Doug Houda was added as Bruins assistant coach.
There has been speculation that Houda, who worked under Dave Lewis and Claude Julien in Boston, could also be a target to join Vancouver's coaching staff.