The Vancouver Canucks will be cutting a $50,000 check to the National Hockey League after they were fined following comments made by general manager Jim Benning last week about Steven Stamkos and P.K. Subban.
“Canucks General Manager Jim Benning violated the provisions of NHL By-Law 15 relating to inappropriate public comments by speaking generally to his Club’s potential interest in players under contract to other NHL Clubs,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly in a statement.
“I spoke with Jim and accept his representation that he intended no harm with his comments and that he will handle similar questions from the media differently in the future.”
Appearing on TSN 1040 last week, Benning said he wanted to add both Stamkos and Subban to the Canucks this off-season, which was an issue considering 1) The UFA meet-and-greet period hadn’t opened yet in regards to Stamkos and 2) Subban is under contract with Montreal until 2022.
In a statement Benning said, “Last week I was trying to be candid with our fans and media about our efforts to improve our team but said too much about players on other teams. I have spoken personally to the NHL and the General Managers involved to apologize and I accept the League’s ruling.”
The $50K fine is double the one that Ron Wilson and the Toronto Maple Leafs got hit with in 2009 following comments the then-head coach made about pursuing the Sedin twins.
The NHL could have handed down a more severe punishment which may have cost them draft picks, but the hope is that the fine and embarrassment of being caught is enough to prevent this from happening again in the future.
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