The Vancouver Canucks have extended the contract of general manager Jim Benning ahead of the 2019-20 season, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.
Benning was entering the final year of his existing deal.
Friedman later did not provide details on the length of the extension, but believes that it’s not short-term, during his appearance on Sportsnet 650’s The Program.
The 56-year-old was named as Vancouver’s GM in May 2014, succeeding Mike Gillis.
Vancouver lost in the first round of the 2014-15 playoffs and have subsequently missed the postseason in four consecutive years under Benning’s watch.
It hasn’t been all bad. Benning and his staff ought to be credited for selecting Calder Trophy winner Elias Pettersson with the fifth overall pick in 2017, who is poised to become of the NHL’s emerging stars, after averaging nearly a point-per-game in his rookie year. Brock Boeser emerged as one of the steals of the first round of the 2015 draft, while 2018 first-round pick Quinn Hughes could be a future stalwart on the blueline.
The Canucks haven’t graduated a single member of the 2016 class to the NHL however, and their success at the draft has been rather top-heavy. For now, Benning remains secure in Vancouver for the foreseeable future and if the young stars take another step forward in trying to get the Canucks back to respectability, perhaps his moves will all be seen as a masterstroke.
For now, the jury remains out.
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