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Benning's Strengths and Weaknesses


bigbadcanucks

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Let me start this thread by saying that I'm glad Linden hired Jim Benning to be the Canucks' GM. I like that he appears to have a blue print that he's committed to (unlike Gillis, who seemed to lose his way with the plan he originally laid out), is decisive and well connected with other NHL execs.

IMO, like all professional people, JB has his strengths and weaknesses. The reputation that preceded Benning before he was hired as the Canucks' GM was that he played a major role in shaping the Boston Bruins (input and advice on trades and draft picks). Based on the assumption that this was indeed the case, I've done a cursory glance at the trades the Bruins have made that shaped their SC roster (2011) and their current roster, along with draft picks the Bruins have made since 2007.

Based on what I see, my comment about Benning is that he's done a very good job of assessing talent level of players at the AHL/NHL level, but "his" draft record with the Bruins leaves a lot to be desired (though he did a very good job during his time with the Sabres).

Case in point, pro (or near-ready pro) players acquired under Benning's watch (no specific order):

(1) Gregory Campbell; (2) Loui Eriksson; (3) Matt Fraser; (4) Chris Kelly; (5) Daniel Paille (since moved); (6) Reilly Smith; (8) Matt Bartkowski; (9) Johnny Boychuk; (10) Joe Morrow; (11) Denis Seidenberg; (12) David Warsofsky.

Players drafted under Benning's watch that appear to have legit shot at being NHLers (if not already NHLers), in no specific order:

(1) Dougie Hamilton; (2) Malcolm Subban; (3) Tyler Seguin; (4) Alex Khoklachev; (5) Anthony Camara; (6) Brian Ferlin; (7) Ryan Spooner; (8) Justin Florek; (9) Jordan Caron; (10) Lane McDermid; (11) Joe Colborne. Let's give Benning credit for Torey Krug, a UFA signing that he probably recommended.

Aside from the obvious, this list is, from 7 drafts, is not all that inspiring. As well, a lot of the players that have been drafted by the Bruins are on the smallish side, so it's a little curious that Benning would select players that weren't the prototypical Bruin, based on size.

So, is Benning's ability to assess amateur/draft eligible players over-rated? As a collective group, the CDC has been really hard on Gillis for his drafting record. When you look at Benning's record since 2007, it's not all that impressive as well.

IMO, as alluded to above, I think we have a very good pro-talent evaluator in Benning (should result in good trades), but I'm a little skeptical about his recent (2007 to now) success at the NHL amateur draft.

I'm sure I've missed some trades the Bruins have made so if others want to add to, it please do so.

Thoughts on Benning's strengths and weaknesses?

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I'm just happy we have a GM with experience in scouting and has a positive reputation around the league. Honestly Gillis' reputation as both a player agent, and as a guy looking for a home run seemed to hurt the teams ability to make player moves. Gillis also for the exception of getting Kassian was looking for deals that looked great at the time, but long term really screwed us up.

Am I thrilled at picking up Ryan Miller? No. But he didn't sign him to a crazy deal either. What I really like is it seems management and the coaching staff all seem to be on the same page.

His weakness, is he's not the best in front of the media. Honestly though, who cares, because Linden can handle that role. But he seems away from the cameras he's more comfortable, and jokes with the other GM's and generally gets along with them.

I'd rather have a GM that doesn't give good sound bites, and have a GM who knows how to build a champion.

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I'm just happy we have a GM with experience in scouting and has a positive reputation around the league. Honestly Gillis' reputation as both a player agent, and as a guy looking for a home run seemed to hurt the teams ability to make player moves. Gillis also for the exception of getting Kassian was looking for deals that looked great at the time, but long term really screwed us up.

Am I thrilled at picking up Ryan Miller? No. But he didn't sign him to a crazy deal either. What I really like is it seems management and the coaching staff all seem to be on the same page.

His weakness, is he's not the best in front of the media. Honestly though, who cares, because Linden can handle that role. But he seems away from the cameras he's more comfortable, and jokes with the other GM's and generally gets along with them.

I'd rather have a GM that doesn't give good sound bites, and have a GM who knows how to build a champion.

Good points, Ghost...and IMO, that whole media stuff is irrelevant, especially when you have a polished TL handling that. I would agree with Benning's strengths that you listed.

I like the Miller signing because Miller gives the team a chance to win each game that he starts. I don't think Lack over a course of an entire season can do the same...and the terms and amount for Miller fit in nicely with what I see as the big picture plan JB has laid out.

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so in 7 years over 10 players who you list. plus given more time there could be more. How many from the Canucks in that same time period? There was a 7 year span or so around 10 years ago where not a single player that we drafted in those 7 years is playing on our team. If you pick one or two players a year that are solid lifetime roster players, I think that is successful.

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I'm just happy we have a GM with experience in scouting and has a positive reputation around the league. Honestly Gillis' reputation as both a player agent, and as a guy looking for a home run seemed to hurt the teams ability to make player moves. Gillis also for the exception of getting Kassian was looking for deals that looked great at the time, but long term really screwed us up.

Am I thrilled at picking up Ryan Miller? No. But he didn't sign him to a crazy deal either. What I really like is it seems management and the coaching staff all seem to be on the same page.

His weakness, is he's not the best in front of the media. Honestly though, who cares, because Linden can handle that role. But he seems away from the cameras he's more comfortable, and jokes with the other GM's and generally gets along with them.

I'd rather have a GM that doesn't give good sound bites, and have a GM who knows how to build a champion.

I think being lacklustre in front of the camera is a good thing. Benning isn't flashy or slick. He's a hockey man. He's not concerned with appearances as much as he is with building a competitive and consistent team. The Vancouver media are a bunch of bugs anyways.
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You have no ideas what he pulled off as an Assistant GM

He was the assistant

There is no way of knowing which players he recommended to be drafted or which trades he was a part of

You have nothing to go off in the past

Let's move forward

Strengths:

Trading douche bags

Getting overpaid players to waive NTC

Getting valuable players in the FA market

Signing a coach who had other intriguing offers

Reuniting that coach with familiar faces

I'm not touching the drafting, too soon

Weaknesses:

Public speaking??? I dunno best I got

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His only weakness, and I don't consider it a weakness is that he's just inexperience. That said, he does have more expierence then when Mike gillis Started. Mike was a players agent, Jim Benning was an assistant, who also did trade talks, scouting, and contract negotiation so in other words, he's actually quite expierenced already, only thing he couldn't do was have the final say.

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