Canucks tab Jim Benning as GM

Updated: May 22, 2014, 12:45 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Boston Bruins assistant general manager Jim Benning has been named general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, team president of hockey operations Trevor Linden announced Wednesday.

"Jim brings a wealth of hockey experience as a builder and talent evaluator that will benefit this team for years to come," Linden said. "We are aligned on how we want to build this team and Jim's level of commitment to building a championship team is exciting. I look forward to re-introducing him to Vancouver on Friday." 

He will be introduced on Friday.

Benning had previously interviewed for the midseason GM vacancy with the Buffalo Sabres and talked to the Canucks with the permission of Bruins president Cam Neely.

[+] EnlargeJim Benning
Richard Cashin/Icon SMIJim Benning, who has spent his last eight seasons with the Bruins, is expected to be named the new general manager of the Canucks, according to a source.

"That's what happens when you have success," Neely said Tuesday. "Teams look at other organizations that have success and start inquiring about your management group. It's something that a lot of good organizations have had to deal with over time and we are dealing with that right now."

A former NHL defenseman, the 51-year-old Benning had been with the Bruins for the past eight seasons, seven as assistant GM.

The Canucks fired GM Mike Gillis in April after a disappointing season in which they failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs.

One of Benning's first jobs will be to find a new coach. John Tortorella was fired after just one season with the club.

Benning joins a revamped Vancouver front office that includes Linden, who was hired last month.

"Jim recognizes that there's a lot of work to do and I think we've got some big decisions to make heading into the draft and certainly the summer," Linden said. "We're going to get to work on that, obviously the combine is next week and the great thing about this situation is Jim is able to start immediately with us, so he'll be in Toronto for the combine with us.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who was in Boston on Tuesday for a year-end news conference, said he understands the outside interest in his team's management group.

"It speaks to what's now become sort of the Boston model," he said. "People do want to copy what you're doing because of the success we have seen."

ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald contributed to this report.

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