May 23 2014 10:23AM
If you've watched a television report on the Jim Benning hire over the past week, be it TSN or CTV or Sportsnet, you've probably noticed that there isn't much in the way of quality stock footage featuring the low-profile Boston Bruins assistant general manager. "I guess he's kind of beside Neely here, and he fist pumps, so... yeah."
For those of us, like myself, who produce reams of digital copy daily - the challenge is similar: if you squint or treat the image like a magic eye, you can maybe make Benning out on the far right. Here's the image we're using over at theScore for the Benning hire, and here's the original photo by Charles LeClaire courtesy of the US Presswire. When I searched Getty's embed-able images of Benning for this post, I found better quality photos of his wife Rhonda than I did of the incoming Canucks general manager...
It's telling that Benning has been such an anonymous figure during his long career as a scout and front office executive, and on Friday that will change. When Benning is introduced in Vancouver he'll be thrust into the harsh glow and officially complete the transition from a no-profile front office functionary in Boston, to the general manager of one of the most heavily followed and scrutinized hockey clubs in the world in Vancouver. Linden's presence and customer service focus may insulate Benning from the burden of media responsibilities in a once-ravenous hockey market somewhat, but he couldn't go Greg Sherman in Vancouver even if he tried. (Who is Greg Sherman? Exactly).
Anyway, let's look at three major decisions facing Vancouver's formerly anonymous general manager right off the bat, and evaluate if he'll even be the guy making them.
Read on past the jump.
May 22 2014 07:55PM
When he was hired as the president of hockey operations for the Vancouver Canucks in early April, Trevor Linden was viewed in some circles with trepidation, particularly because he lacked any type of executive experience in hockey. Linden had business experience, but being the top hockey executive of a team like the Vancouver Canucks is an intense, demanding position unsuited to the inexperienced or the faint of heart. If it's not your life, if you're not going to get in early and obsess over every facet of the organization, if you can't sacrifice month-long biking excursions (or commute in from Point Roberts) - you're unlikely to have success.
In his first month on the job, Linden has already put most of these concerns to rest. He passed his first wisdom test, which admittedly was a tap-in (albeit a tap-in shanked by another inexperienced president of hockey operations in a major Canadian market), by firing John Tortorella. He's been extraordinarily available, amiable and frank in conversations with the media and in conversation with fans directly. Most importantly: he indirectly pitched his man to the Vancouver market and then went out and got him. On Wednesday, Linden hobnobbed with paying customers for half an hour before officially announcing the hire of new Canucks general manager Jim Benning at a season ticket holder event at the River Rock Casino.
Read on past the jump.
May 22 2014 02:56PM
The worst kept secret in hockey was finally unveiled on Wednesday, when it was announced that Jim Benning had agreed to a multi year contract to become the GM of the Vancouver Canucks. Unlike Torts' inexplicable five year deal (I have to assume he has copious amounts of pictures of Aquilini doing something awful, like maybe eating a hamburger from 7-11), Jim Benning will most likely see out several years of his contract.
This is Vancouver, however, so one can never be too careful about job security when running the Canucks. Today you're the General Manager firing the food workers in the arena, the next day you're at Costco eating the cheap hot dogs, because hey, a good deal is a good deal.
That's why Jim Benning should take extra care in certain areas to ensure his reign in Vancouver is a long lasting, memorable one. Now I can't help Benning out with particular roster moves, but I can help him out with regards to how he should carry himself in this market. After watching Mike Gillis yell at radio personalities like a disgruntled father who blames the divorce on the kids, after watching Brian Burke threaten everyone and their mother that he'd drive them to the airport, and after watching Dave Nonis cry the day he was appointed GM (#NeverForget), I feel I have a reasonable amount of knowledge to impart upon our new overlord that will help him out immeasurably.
Read past the jump.. you know how this works, I shouldn't have to tell you to do this, COME ON.
May 22 2014 11:09AM
Courtesy of Canucks.com
As the days continue to get longer, the number of active prospects still playing with their respective teams continues to diminish. Bo Horvat was the last one standing, with his team playing host to the Memorial Cup. Meanwhile if we look overseas towards Eastern Europe, we see the IIHF World Championships taking place as we transition from the elongated round robin portion of the tournament to the good stuff.
A reminder that if you're bored this summer, craving hockey news and all that jazz, you can stay updated on everything regarding Canucks prospects by following me on Twitter @nuckprospects. You're also more than welcome to send me any feedback on anything prospect related you wish for me to cover in the future.
For the Memorial Cup, Anton Cederholm and the IIHF Worlds, read past the jump!
May 21 2014 09:51PM
In a move that caught the hockey world by storm, seemingly c oming way out of left field without any real tangible clues pointing towards it even having a possibility of actually happening Jim Benning has finally been formally announced as the successor to former General Manager Mike Gillis' now vacant throne as the guy charged with calling the shots for the Vancouver Canucks. Well, sort of.
It remains to be seen just how much say he'll have in relation to say, Trevor Linden, who was the one brought in to conduct the search for the team's next GM, amongst other things of course. Linden confirmed the long-anticipated decision during a statement in front of a whole wad of season ticket holders on Wednesday night, allowing the team and fans to begin looking towards a medley of other important moves that'll need to be made over the coming weeks and months.
Consider this your last chance to filter the phrase "Boston Model" out of your Twitter timeline.