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Photo Credit: Ben Nelms /PNG Merlin Archive

Jim Benning speaks about Judd Brackett leaving the Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks announced this morning that they will be parting ways with Director of Amateur Scouting, Judd Brackett.

Brackett has been the center of discourse in the market for the past three or so months, after a report from The Province’s Patrick Johnston in January that the organization and Brackett may be headed in different directions.

Fuel was added to the fire of this story after reports from Sportsnet650’s Satiar Shah, TSN1040’s J.D. Burke, and of course, Patrick Johnston, who stayed on top of this story throughout its development.

Brackett has been with the organization for 12 years and was promoted to Director of Amateur Scouting in 2015.

Canucks’ general manager Jim Benning spoke to the media today and had a lot to say. Here’s (almost) everything he had to say.

The biggest piece of information was Benning confirming that the contract dispute arose over Brackett wanting more autonomy, and some conditions that Jim says he wasn’t ready to give up. He also added:

“I don’t know too many places where the team is going to give a head scout total autonomy to make all the picks without collaborating with the people higher up on the chain of command”

Benning also stressed the fact that the reports stating the Canucks’ drafting process isn’t collaborative are untrue.

The organization won’t be rushing to fill the role, with Benning mentioning that it’s too early to say for sure if they’ll look for outside help, or promote someone internally from their scouting department to fill the position.

Brackett will certainly find work elsewhere, as Benning pointed out that both Brackett and the organization were looking for a fresh start:

“We got to a point where I think Judd is looking for another opportunity and a fresh start and so are we. We’re not going to skip a beat here. We have a foundation in our scouting group.”

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For now, we’ll have to wait and see how the organization plans to fill the role. With the 2020 NHL Draft likely not happening until the Fall now, that announcement could be more than a few months away.

Before the call concluded, Benning also made a note of applauding the work of the Hockey Analytics department, and name-dropped Ryan Biech twice. Biech was the former Managing Editor of Canucks Army and was hired by the organization last summer.