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Don’t call it a ‘rebuild’ — Benning explains Canucks moves

Jun 27, 2014, 6:22 PM EDT


PHILADELPHIA — Canucks general manager Jim Benning said Thursday that he wasn’t worried about the Ryan Kesler situation turning into another Roberto Luongo soap opera in Vancouver. He said he was more than willing to keep Kesler, as opposed to trading him for less than fair value.

On Friday, though, Benning traded Kesler to Anaheim, partly because he “didn’t want this to fester.”

With Kesler unhappy playing for a Canucks team he felt was no longer a Stanley Cup contender, Benning confirmed that the player had requested a trade, to either Anaheim or Chicago.

“His wish was to go to a team that he felt has a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” said Benning. “We asked him for more teams over the course of the last three weeks and he was pretty steadfast on going to one of these two teams.”

Benning added that Kesler “felt he needed a fresh start and, quite frankly, we don’t want somebody that doesn’t want to be here. … We would have liked to keep him, but his mind was made up so we did the best we could in the situation.”

The best the Canucks could do was get Nick Bonino (a “second-line center iceman” who can help replace Kesler’s goal-scoring, according to Benning) and Luca Sbisa (a “guy that we feel can grow into a top four defenseman”), plus the 24th overall pick in today’s draft.

Vancouver also sent Jason Garrison (and his contract) to Tampa Bay, plus got winger Derek Dorsett from the Rangers in a separate trade.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a rebuild,” said Benning. “We acquired players that we thought are going to have an impact on us winning next year. We got Bonino, we feel Sbisa is going to develop into a real good defenseman for us, Dorsett is going to help us as a good penalty killer. We’ve been talking about bringing in some good energy guys that are going to work hard and compete hard physically and he’s going to do that for us. So that’s kind of why we did it, to help our team.

“If it was going to be a rebuild then maybe we wouldn’t have tried to fight so hard to get players that can come in and help our team win next year.”

Related: Kesler makes Ducks better, but are they good enough?

  1. lowenni - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Fine, I won’t call it a rebuild, but I won’t call it a successful day for Vancouver either. Benning’s trade of Garrison for a second round pick and a nobody was questionable, cause I think they could’ve Gotten a fair amount more back in that trade. Garrison’s a real solid defender imo. We’ll see who he drafts but so far I’m not convinced he’s gonna turn this franchise around.

  2. notan9ner - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Thanks for the bag of pucks.

    The Vancouver Canucks

    • desertfan - Jun 28, 2014 at 5:14 AM

      And for taking on $4,5 M of cap space!!!!!!

  3. valoisvipers - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Walks like a duck,looks like a duck, must be a duck.

    • ngsm31 - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      My thoughts exactly

  4. urallstupid - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    its a rebuild.

  5. roblo76 - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    It’s called “spinning your wheels.” I thought they fired Gillis? Lulz

  6. luz56 - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Yup not a rebuild… Done! What the hell do you want us to call it

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      Well, since announcers now call a rebound a “second chance opportunity”, apparently it’s all about being multisyllabic in an effort to sound smarter than you really are, so let’s go with: a recalibration with an eye toward maximized future results.

  7. steverolley - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Trading 2 players = total rebuilding process

  8. bleedrangerblue - Jun 27, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    Hey slow down Canuck fans. You picked up Dorsett!!!! LOL

  9. ray2013 - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    It’s not a re-build, it’s a “re-set”: I just heard it on TSN.

    And he was making moves and acquiring picks for the chance to trade up for #1. Have to appreciate him going for it.

    • flyingforawhile - Jun 28, 2014 at 3:11 AM

      Doug Wilson said that once… Welcome to the club.

  10. gbart22 - Jun 28, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    Kesler comes off as a real douche bag. I hate when players demand trades then limit the teams that they’ll go to. You’re the douche who wants the easy way out. Players have a right to request a trade but to then handicap a team is ridiculous this is turning into the nba.

    • flyingforawhile - Jun 28, 2014 at 3:11 AM

      Kesler IS a douchebag. Ask anyone who has ever met him.

  11. mackstrong2013 - Jun 28, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Anyone who can’t see Benning’s plan needs to open their eyes. They turn Kesler, who was a cancer, into a solid 2C and a replacement for Garrison, as well as what ends up being a steal at 24. They get rid of 4.5 mil in cap and add a young 3/4 C who has upside that allows us to make sure no prospects get rushed.

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