To Russia With Gloves

It is with a heavy European heart that I must announce that Jim Benning is at it again.

As everyone has seen, and maybe even heard, by now, Benning was on the radio last week talking about a range of topics, including what they’re scouting for at the World Championships. To be honest, I have no idea why they still let Benning talk to the media. I mean, he lets more things slip than Donald Trump at a meeting with Russian officials.

But sure enough, there he was blurting out a line about how he tells the Canucks scouts that they want “European skill with North American heart even though they’re European players.”

Sure, it’s a throw away line, and I’m sure he even thought he was being kind of funny, but come on.

You have to know how your comments are going to come across back at home. At best you’re going to come across as glib and seen as taking a shot at the European players that have formed the core of your team for years. At worst, you’re also going to be seen as taking a shot at the North American players that might be your next core.

All to drop a phrase that doesn’t even really mean anything. Or at least I hope it doesn’t. I mean, this is a team desperately in need of skill players. With rare exceptions, the only way to add skill to your team these days is through scouting and the draft. That North American “heart”, whatever that is, you can get any time you want through free agency.

Seriously, the only place you need a good blend of heart and skill is in a cardiologist:

And if the conditioning of Canucks’ prospects in the recent past is any indication, Benning should be more concerned about cardio than potential cardiologists.

Anyway, there has been enough digital ink spilled on his poor choice of words so I’m not going to dwell on it any longer. What I’m more interested in is what Benning is doing to get the outlook for this team back on an upward trajectory. As I said last time, I saw a glimmer of daylight with the trade deadline acquisitions, but I’m still not sure this team has bottomed out. I have this sinking feeling that adding Goldobin and Dahlen was nothing more than a dead cat bounce. And these latest comments don’t give me much solace.

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Since then, the results have been mixed. Benning did get Boeser inked to a contract and burned the first year, setting up the possibility of having higher leverage over him in when the ELC expires in two years. But he also managed to lose one of the crowning achievements that his defenders point to, as Nikita Tryamkin bolted back to Russia. I know I keep comparing him to Trump, but this is getting ridiculous:

And really, at this point it’s a toss-up as to which one of them will be out of a job first.



  • Donald's Hat Trick

    Not a Benning fan, but I think he may be on to something here… Whack a kid in the mouth with a glove during nterviews, or maybe across the shins with a stick to see how he reacts, it could save the organization a lot of embarrassment on national tv.

  • Whackanuck

    Well he was in Europe so he would be scouting European skill and one of the criteria would be a willingness to have the heart to play the NHL game. From that perspective, not such an odd comment.

  • Locomotion

    I agree please make Jim stop talking
    He’ll reveille everything. Why can’t upper management (aka Trevor ) tell him to shut up. Love the trump comparison

  • wojohowitz

    It`s just old school talk but the strange thing is; It`s old school talk that is older than Benning. It`s Don Cherry saying Inge Hammerstrom could go into the corners with eggs in his pocket. It`s Borge Salming skates okay but he won`t last long. It`s Anders Hedberg signs with the WHA Jets because the NHL doesn`t want him. It`s the Bruins trading Thomas Gradin to the Canucks because he was Swedish. Maybe that`s what drove everyone crazy about Ulf Sammuelsson; How could he be Swedish and the dirtiest player in the league at the same time.

    • Bud Poile

      Lars Lindgren,Inge Hammarstrom,Sergei Chibisov and Thomas Gradin all scout for Benning.
      23 pro scouts on the payroll,including Jim Benning.
      30% of Benning’s picks have been Euru/Russian.

  • Bud Poile

    The Canadian team won over Russia today.Epic game.
    Guess Petbugs wasn’t up at 6 a.m. to write about it.
    I guess we get the fourth ‘Trade Tanev’ regurgitated blog offering next.

  • kablebike

    “European skill with North American heart even though they’re European players”. I respect your position on that comment as poorly worded and outdated.
    “I have this sinking feeling that adding Goldobin and Dahlen was nothing more than a dead cat bounce”. Seriously? That was all you come up with after throwing Benning under the bus? Dead cat bounce? Hypocrisy and face palm.

  • Bud Poile

    “And really, at this point it’s a toss-up as to which one of them will be out of a job first.”
    I’d like to see a poll offered to CA readers which blogger we fire,given the opportunity.
    Any CA blogger with a 90% rejection rate gets terminated.
    No guessing or toss-up required.

  • bobdaley44

    What a horse bleep article.Obviously never played beyond road hockey. Ya you do need guys who play with heart especially your top players as they set the standard and everyone follows even those with questionable compete level are forced to play hard. I don’t have a problem with what Benning said because i agree with him North American players do compete harder i.e. comparing Crosby and Ovechkin. One will do anything to win the other not so much.

  • Jamie E

    Did Jim say something that wasn’t politically correct and that he should have used his inside voice for? Yes. Has there been a hysterical overreaction to the comment? Double yes.