Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning spoke to the media Thursday, answering questions ranging from the team’s slow start, to Head Coach Travis Green’s status, to potential player personnel moves and his own job security.
To summarize comments on player personnel matters, Benning simply said he’s talking to his coaches on how they can help, talking to agents to see what’s potentially going on with certain players, and speaking with other NHL GM’s about potential moves. The Canucks are looking at all options.
Here are some other highlights:
Part of it was stating the obvious.
“We’re a fragile team right now. We take a penalty and we can’t kill it off,” he stated. “And bounces don’t go our way, we hit crossbars and posts. So I think, like in the game last night, for a good portion of that game I was happy with our game, I thought we played really good, but the start of the third period there, we take a couple of penalties, they score on it. But we need to be smarter too, we need to play smart and not take those penalties. It’s going to take hard work, it’s going to be, from our group, a commitment from everybody to keep working hard, competing hard on the puck and doing the things we need to do to win games.”
On Elias Pettersson’s slow start and apparent fog:
“A lot of our good players aren’t playing to their potential,” Benning said. “We all know the type of player that he can be. Whether it’s the long lay-off, he didn’t play for four months last year and through the summer, getting back to playing competitively again. We know that he’s capable of, a lot more than he’s shown so far, but it’s our job as a management team and as a coaching staff to keep working with him to get him to where he needs to be because he’s a big part of our team.”
On the job security of his head coach:
“We’re looking at everything, we’re trying to find solutions to our problems,” Benning stated. “Travis and his staff are working hard, this is wearing on the them like it’s wearing on all of us. This is something I didn’t expect to kind of happen after the things that, the moves we made this summer, but it’s happening and we have to deal with it and find answers and get things back on track.”
On his own job security:
“I’m not going to worry about that,” he said. “That will be an ownership decision, and if they get to the point where they feel that I’m not doing a good job or I need to be replaced, they’ll make that decision.”
On the absence of right-handed centre and penalty killer Brandon Sutter, who has yet to play this season:
“He’s feeling better. As you guys know he’s a Covid long-hauler,” Benning said. “I talked to him last week, he’s feeling better and better all the time. He’s nowhere near close to working out or getting back on the ice, but we’re hoping here at some point he can start working out and start skating again and be with the group.”