Canucks’ Benning not shopping Tanev, Edler; open to Miller return

Posted: 28/05/2017 in NHL, Sports
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Decisions loom for Jim Benning and the Vancouver Canucks as they get set for what should be their first real taste of a rebuild in some time.

The team kick-started the movement this season, trading veterans Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows for draft picks and prospects. However, things might not end there.

The Canucks still has some veteran pieces who could garner further draft picks and assets. The problem, however, is that Benning isn’t sold on the idea of throwing his rookies and young stars into the fire without some stability in the lineup. It’s one of the few reasons that, despite rumors, the team isn’t actively shopping defensemen Chris Tanev or Alex Edler.

“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t listen and see if it (trade) is worth it, but it’s hard to find good defensemen,” Benning said, according to Ben Kuzma of The Province. “Especially defensemen who are mobile and move the puck. I’m not shopping Tanev or bringing his name up in conversations with other GMs. They bring up his name.

“Unless it would make sense for our future, I’m not trading Chris. He means so much to our team. And we’re not looking to do anything with Alex (Edler).”

Benning’s feelings regarding team stability, especially on the back end, is also why he remains open to bringing back goaltender Ryan Miller even if it’s to serve as backup to emerging No. 1 Jacob Markstrom.

“As we’re transitioning these young players into our lineup, I feel that if we have solid goaltending on a night-to-night basis, we can be competitive,” Benning said.

“There’s no worse feeling than trying to develop young players and get them up and going when you know you don’t have a chance to win. Ryan and Jacob have a healthy relationship because they’re competitive and respect each other.

“We have something to offer Ryan that he already knows. We’ve got some positives for him and if that’s the route we go, that’s why we’re doing it.”

Miller is coming off a three-year, $18-million contract and can expect to take a sizable pay cut, especially as prospect Thatcher Demko enters the picture.

Suffice to say the Canucks could be a busy team in the coming months.


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