Jim Benning Speaks on the Mumps Outbreak

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Photo Credit: Bill Streicher – USA TODAY Sports

The Canucks were hit with a storm today when they revealed that five players were suffering from symptoms of the mumps. According to their press release, Troy Stecher (confirmed), Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Michael Chaput, and Markus Granlund have all come down with the virus.

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Yesterday, Jim Benning made an appearance on TSN 1040 to discuss the outbreak and what happens next.

Two seasons ago, the mumps spread throughout the league and sidelined a number of players. As far as I can recall, no Canucks suffered this disease at the time.

Gathering information from the trusty internet, the mumps is a contagious infection caused by the mumps virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and the well-known swelling of tender glands. The symptoms typically appear 16-18 days after being exposed to the virus, then subside after roughly seven days. A five-day period of isolation is often recommended for those who have contracted the disease.

Jim Benning: “We have one confirmed case, that’s Troy Stecher. He’s done the blood work and it’s a confirmed test result that he has the mumps. We have four other guys that we’re waiting on the results for. Probably three of the four won’t be able to play tomorrow night.”

Of the five players infected, only Chris Tanev was a part of the team-wide vaccination in 2014-15. It makes sense that Chaput (AHL), Stecher (NCAA), Tryamkin (KHL), and Granlund (CGY) were more susceptible because they might not have been vaccinated during that time.

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Benning confirmed that defenseman Evan McEneny, as well as Alex Grenier, were recalled. The Canucks added to the list of recalls with Jordan Subban and Joseph LaBate.

Despite Troy Stecher being the only confirmed case, TSN 1040 mentioned that Tanev was the first player to report his symptoms. Given the fact that the virus takes several days before showing signs, it is likely that the exposure occurred during the Canucks’ 6-game, two-week road trip last week.

Benning: “I don’t know if it’s something the guys got when they were back east, or if it was when they got back [to Vancouver]. The first we heard of it was Wednesday. The last couple days, we’ve had more cases.”

As stated earlier, individuals who have come down with the mumps are often put in a quarantined state to prevent the spread. Benning confirmed that the infected players would go through a “five-day incubation process” as a precaution. Troy Stecher will be a part of that group, but those who will join him have yet to be confirmed. I cannot speculate on who those players will be, but if they’ve all shown symptoms of the mumps, it would not be far-fetched to believe that they all have the mumps.

Benning: “Ours doctors, they have all [the protocol]. They make sure – through screenings, vaccinations, and disinfecting the room – that they’re on top of all that. This is just one of those things that happens and nobody knows why.”

Should the worst possibility occur and more players show signs of the mumps, the Canucks will be in a pickle. One-quarter of the team is already out, and the prospect pool in Utica is not exactly the deepest. I’m no CBA expert, but the Canucks might be forced to make some roster moves in the worst case scenario.

Benning: “We’ve contacted the league and we’re waiting to hear back. We could go into LTI with some of our injured players to come up with space to keep bringing players off. At some point, if we ge a rash of ten guys come down with it, we’re going to need some sort of exemption from the league.”

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, there might be a feeling of angst that this Canucks-concentrated mumps outbreak will impact how management approaches the day. For Benning, he doesn’t think it will have a bearing.

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  • Bencolder

    I’m surprised that vaccinations such as these are not conditions of NHL employment. Why should any team risk a playoff position over a preventable disease?

      • Donald's Hat Trick

        They couldn’t even give Virtanen coherent feedback while he spent the summer training right under their noses, and you’re expecting them to have a proactive vaccination regimen in place?

        • Bud Poile

          The MMR vaccine is typically given to children as part of a normal vaccination regime.

          Without immunization about 0.1 percent to one percent of the population are affected per year.


          The mumps,TB,and serious infectious diseases are normally dealt with in elementary school immunization programs.

          Adults have a responsibility to attend to their own physical and mental well being.

          Your employer isn’t your mother or babysitter.

          • Vanoxy

            Professional athletes aren’t just employees, they are the commodity that customers pay to watch. And their health is paramount.

            Teams pay a fortune every year to get players immediate access to surgeons, MRIs specialists etc.while average Joe’s wait months for the same treatments.

            Having a Dr review a guys medical history, once, to ensure his vaccines are up to date seems like a pretty simple and logical move to avoid this current type of calamity.

          • Athletes in team sports are also at greater risk of communicable diseases since they’re not just working with 25 other guys, they’re also exercising together, travelling together, bunking on the road together – even bathing together. That’s why whole teams will get the flu all at once.

            Plus, y’know, teams employ multiple doctors are strictly control many aspects of their players’ health.

            Bud is, as usual, completely out to lunch here.

          • Braindead Benning

            Your correct Bud..

            Its common knowledge that each player has their own personal privatized bath stall at ALL home and away games and when they stay on the road in luxury hotel’s they have their own single bedroom suite.

            so your right… They NEVER bunk of bathe together

          • Braindead Benning

            Your correct Bud..

            Its common knowledge that each player has their own personal privatized bath stall at ALL home and away games and when they stay on the road in luxury hotel’s they have their own single bedroom suite.

            so your right… They NEVER bunk of bathe together

          • Bud Poile

            The NHLPA bargained and put in place new rules four/five years ago so that only players on EL contracts now bunk together.

            Unfortunately for the Canucks they are rebuilding so there are far more Canucks on EL contracts than veteran teams.

            Stetcher is the only confirmed case (EL) and the other four suspected cases are all on EL contracts except Granlund.

            After this incident it is arguable the NHLPA petitions to stop bunking for even EL contracted players.

            I’ve played in a lot of barns but never seen a bath or player bathe in one of them.

            Adult multi-millionaire NHL players aren’t showering with other adult players,let alone teenagers or strangers.

            The NHL isn’t minor hockey.

          • Braindead Benning

            I’ve played in a lot of barns but never seen a bath or player bathe in one of them.

            – But i bet you wish you have? –

            Adult multi-millionaire NHL players aren’t showering with other adult players,let alone teenagers or strangers.

            – great to hear that your rather well informed about this and take a deep interest on this subject

          • Bud Poile


            The vast majority of adult players aren’t whack jobs.

            Wealthy,elite adult athletes aren’t sharing a shower stall with anyone,especially deviants that secretly dream of bathing with them.

          • Bud Poile

            I see,so they are commodities to you.

            I’ll bet just about nobody here knows if they are immunized for the mumps and most everybody could honestly care less either way-even after this Canucks outbreak.I smell a lot of hypocrisy.

          • Vanoxy

            No. They aren’t commodities to me, but they are commodities to the teams that have millions invested in them and need them ready to perform.
            That’s just the reality of ‘professional’ sports.

            But you’re right. Why be proactive when their current system is working so effectively.
            It makes perfect sense to wait until 1/4 of your roster is seriously ill, and THEN vaccinate everybody.

          • Bud Poile

            They are just people like you and I.

            Proactive? You want professional clubs to insert very dangerous vaccines into perfectly healthy bodies for every disease out there?


            I stay far,far away from all vaccines unless absolutely critically necessary that I be injected.Even then,I want to know exactly what’s being pumped into me,the success rate of the drug and it’s side effects.

          • Vanoxy

            I get it now. You’re an antivaxxer. O.k. gotcha.

            Stop trying to make me seem cold or insensitive. I’m on the side of preventing young men from ending up sterile or with long term issues due to a 100% preventable illness.

            sorry science doesn’t agree with you and Jenny McCarthy.

          • Vanoxy


            “Very rarely, sterility or death occur. These outcomes are more likely to happen in adults with mumps.
            Other long-term complications of the mumps include:
            kidney problems
            inflammation of the thyroid or pancreas
            hearing loss
            meningitis, or inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes”

            In my books, it’s not worth the risk. We’ll agree to disagree.

  • Bud Poile

    The last mumps outbreak here had 41 total cases of infection.

    That includes Vancouver,North Vancouver,Whistler,Squamish and all the tourists and visitors during that period of time.

    Let’s say 900,000 people with 41 cases.

    That’s a .000045 % chance of infection.

    • Vanoxy


      But, the number of people who have suffered any form of complications from the mumps vaccine is 0.

      0 out of billions of vaccine recipients is a 0% risk factor.

      The math isn’t helping your argument.

      We’ve beaten this topic to death, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the shape of the earth…. I’m guessing you’re in the “flat” camp, right?