The Vancouver Canucks have had an embarrassing start to the season, one that is even worse that it looks on the surface. Roughly halfway through the month of February the Canucks have now played more games than any other team in the National Hockey League and that's really not good when you consider that they have one of the lowest point percentages in the league. In fact the only teams currently doing worse in that regard are the Detroit Red Wings and the Ottawa Senators, both teams that have been quite bad in recent history.
You don't need to tell anyone in Vancouver about this however as there is perhaps no fan base in the NHL right now that is more frustrated than the one belonging to the Canucks. For weeks now during Canucks game's fans have managed to get #FireBenning trending on Twitter and although there was initially a belief that general manager Jim Benning was safe, that may no longer me the case.
In a recent article for The Fourth Period, NHL reporter David Pagnotta cites multiple sources with knowledge of the situation in Vancouver and reveals that a change may in fact be forthcoming very shortly.
"According to two separate sources, Canucks ownership is beyond frustrated with the team’s start and is considering a change at the General Manager position," wrote Pagnotta in his latest piece. "If the team can’t right the ship and if this series against the Flames does not go well, I believe we could see the end of Jim Benning’s tenure in Vancouver."
Rumors have suggested for some time now that Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini is hesitant to fire Benning due to the fact that he remains under contract through the 2022 - 2023 NHL season. When you consider the financial realities of the pandemic you can certainly see why Aquilini would hesitate, given that he would then have to pay both Benning and his replacement millions of dollars each and every year until the end of Benning's contract.
In spite of those financial concerns however it would appear as though things have finally reached a boiling point for the Canucks owner, and things may well boil over this weekend if Pagnotta's sources are correct. The Canucks play the Flames on Sunday and then again on Monday in back to back games. According to two separate sources, Canucks ownership is beyond frustrated with the team’s start and is considering a change at the General Manager position. If the team can’t right the ship and if this series against the Flames does not go well, I believe we could see the end of Jim Benning’s tenure in Vancouver.