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‘Good move Jimmy’: Ed Jovanovski jokingly praises Jim Benning for giving up on Gustav Forsling

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Photo credit:© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jagraj Lalli
7 days ago
On Wednesday’s edition of Donnie and Dhali – The Team, former Vancouver Canucks defenceman turned-Panthers analyst Ed Jovanovski joined Rick Dhaliwal and Don Taylor to discuss the Florida Panthers’ second straight Stanley Cup Final appearance. The conversation turned to Panthers defenceman Gustav Forsling, a former Canucks draft pick who has found success after a rocky start in the NHL.
Dhaliwal highlighted Panthers head coach Paul Maurice’s recent praise for Forsling, noting Maurice called him “one of the best defencemen in the world.” Dhaliwal remarked on Forsling’s growth and asked Jovanovski for his thoughts. 
“Ed, Paul Maurice, boy. The way he was raving about Gustav Forsling. Unbelievable. About a week ago, he called him one of the best defencemen in the world. What do you think about this guy and his playing? You know, he was a Canucks draft pick. They got rid of him real quick, but he looks like a late bloomer, and he’s figured it out,” Dhaliwal said.
Jovanovski responded with a touch of sarcasm about the decision-making at the time. “Who was the GM at that point?” he asked.
“That was Jim Benning,” Donnie and Dhaliwal confirmed.
“Alright, good move, Jimmy,” Jovanovski quipped.
“Listen, sometimes these guys get away, right? Listen, he goes to Chicago, Carolina, you just never know. I was kind of joking with Jim Benning there doing a pretty good job. But sometimes these guys get away and kind of reinvent themselves. You look where Goose has come, he came over here and had the opportunity and he just ran with it. I said it on the broadcast, I didn’t go 5 or 10, I went seven. A top seven d-man in the league, and I was saying that right from the get-go this year, the way this guy has played is like Nick Lidstrom. He’s never out of position. He moves the puck extremely well and doesn’t make his job overly hard because he lets the puck do the work. He’s great at anticipating on both the defensive and offensive sides. He kills penalties. He’s a minute muncher. He plays against top lines. There’s nothing this guy can’t do. His confidence is obviously high, but he’s just a humble kid. He goes out there, does his work, and doesn’t look for recognition. That’s why you love a player like that.”
Forsling was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but his rights were traded by then-GM Jim Benning to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Adam Clendening on January 29, 2015. The Blackhawks, after 122 games and three seasons, sent Forsling to the Carolina Hurricanes. 
The Hurricanes, with a full roster during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season, tried to pass Forsling through waivers, where the Panthers picked him up.
Since that move, Forsling has become a key player for the Panthers. He recently signed an eight-year contract that will start next season when he turns 28, valued at $46 million ($5.75 million per season), a deal that looks like a bargain given his performance.
Forsling’s career stats include 46 goals, 115 assists, and a plus-minus of +125 in 397 games.

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