Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning was on TSN1040 radio in Vancouver this afternoon, and like he’s been known to do, managed to put his foot in his mouth once again. Benning has been in Paris, France this week scouting the IIHF World Hockey Championships, but took some time out to talk about what he sees at the tournament and who the team might be targeting in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.
Ugh, c’mon Jim. European skill? North American heart? What year is it? The trite statement ignited an inferno of criticism on social media with fans calling the GM xenophobic and out of touch. While the may be a stretch, the statement is a clear indication that Benning still has a difficult time navigating the media landscape and puts himself up for fan scrutiny far too often.
Remember, this is the same GM who was fined by the league for making tampering statements about PK Subban, a player who was under contract to the Montreal Canadiens at the time, last offseason. When Benning and team president Trevor Linden were hired in 2014, it was expected that the team’s PR image might get a boost after years of Mike Gillis and John Tortorella madness. Apparently not.