Canucks GM Jim Benning signs three-year extension

Canada

VANCOUVER—The Vancouver Canucks are sticking with Jim Benning as their general manager.

The club announced Tuesday that the 56-year-old has signed a three-year extension, keeping him with the team through the 2022-23 season.

Benning has been GM since 2014 and was entering the final year of his deal.

He was given a multi-year contract extension in February 2018 and months later, his portfolio grew to include hockey operations after the club split with team president Trevor Linden.

Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini said in a statement that Benning’s experience, relationships and hockey knowledge are “invaluable.”

“We’re committed to building a winning team and getting back among the NHL elite for the long term,” Aquilini said. “There are no shortcuts, but we’ve embarked on a path to get there, and I have confidence in Jim’s ability to see it through.”

Vancouver has made the playoffs just once in Benning’s five seasons at the helm and the team has consistently lingered near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, finishing last season with a 35-36-11 record.

Benning has repeatedly faced criticism for adding long-term, big-money contracts in both trades and free agency that gobbled up cap space but failed to offer on-ice support for the club’s young talent.

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He’s also been credited with drafting some of the Canucks’ up-and-coming stars, including centre Elias Pettersson, who was named the NHL’s rookie of the year last season.

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