NHL fines Canucks $50k for 'inappropriate public comments' violating tampering By-Law

Thomas Drance
June 28 2016 11:14AM

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Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Vancouver Canucks have been levied an enormous $50,000 fine by the NHL for violating the league's tampering By-Laws, the league announced on Tuesday.

The fine has been levied as a result of comments Canucks general manager Jim Benning made this past Thursday in Buffalo, in which he expressed his interest - during an appearance with Matt Sekeres and Blake Price on TSN 1040 - in Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, a pending unrestricted free agent, and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.

The amount is double what then-Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson was fined for tampering back in 2009, when he made significantly more suggestive and pointed comments indicating that his club was interested in pursuing the Sedin twins. You'd think that perhaps the league just doubled the Wilson fine because Benning mentioned two players, but then, that doesn't make sense, because Henrik and Daniel Sedin are two distinct individuals also, even if we often group them together for obvious reasons...

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Report: Canucks enlist mayor Gregor Robinson in recruitment pitch to Milan Lucic

Thomas Drance
June 28 2016 10:46AM

The Blue Water Cafe is the new Italian Kitchen and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robinson is the Vancouver Canucks' newest Mariano Rivera-style closer, according to a variety of reports surfacing from the often ahead of the game News 1130 Sports Twitter account.

News 1130 Sports reported on Tuesday morning that the Canucks met with unrestricted free agent winger Milan Lucic at the Blue Water Cafe - the same restaurant the club reportedly used to pitch Drake Caggiula on joining their club back in May - on Monday night, at a dinner that was attended by Jim Benning, Trevor Linden and Francesco Aquilini. The club even had the mayor drop by, presumably to outright offer his position to Lucic should the former Vancouver Giant and apex predator power forward opt to join his hometown team. 

The details are fun, but taken together, what the trickle of news positively suggests is that the Canucks are all in on pursuing Lucic in free agency.

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Linden on Quinn's HHOF induction: 'I know how proud he would be if he were still with us today'

Thomas Drance
June 27 2016 03:44PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

When former Canucks owner Frank Griffiths and his son Arthur met with Pat Quinn at the patio bar of a San Diego hotel late in 1986, Quinn – who was still working for the Los Angeles Kings at the time – took a break from his scotch and from puffing on his cigar and asked the ownership group recruiting him what they wanted from him in the big picture.

“Respectability,” said the elder Griffiths.

Quinn was surprised. He expected the former Canucks owner to say “to win a Stanley Cup” or something more tangible. 

Frank, who had owned the Canucks for 13 years with only intermittent success, assured Quinn that a Stanley Cup would follow if respectability was achieved. First though, the club needed to achieve something more ephemeral.

In his 10 years as the president and general manager of the Canucks, Quinn achieved that and more.

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Pat Quinn inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

Thomas Drance
June 27 2016 01:50PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

Pat Quinn has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, along with Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov and Rogie Vachon, the Hall of Fame announced on Monday.

Quinn, who is in the Ring of Honour at Rogers Arena and has a street named after him outside the rink, served as president and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks from 1987 through to 1997 with occasional stints as a head coach during that decade. One might argue - although Quinn's lieutenant Brian Burke has a strong case as well - that Quinn did more to transform the Canucks franchise from a perennial laughing stock to a big-revenue power house than any other individual in the history of professional hockey in Vancouver.

Mike Commito contributed a guest post remembering Pat Quinn at CanucksArmy.com back in November, on the one year anniversary of the Big Irishman's death. Quinn also granted CanucksArmy.com an interview back in 2012, when we were a fledgling site. 

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Report: NHL looking at tampering complaint regarding Benning's comments about Subban, Stamkos

Thomas Drance
June 24 2016 10:13AM

The NHL is reportedly looking into a complaint against Canucks general manager Jim Benning regarding comments he made on Thursday expressing his club's general interest in Steven Stamkos and P.K. Subban, according to TVA's Renaud Lavoie.

Benning is probably the most candid and accessible executive in hockey, which is to his credit. In this case though, his comments - in which he admitted during a TSN 1040 interview that the Canucks had called to inquire about Subban's availability and planned "to talk to" Stamkos following the draft - may have placed the Vancouver general manager into a spot of hot water.

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