Canucks president sends letter to fans touting ‘brighter than ever’ future

Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green reacts to the news that GM Jim Benning has received a multi-year contract extension with the organization.

The New York Rangers may have started a trend.

The Vancouver Canucks issued a letter to their season-ticket holders Wednesday morning from team president Trevor Linden. In the letter, Linden put a focus on the team’s future, which he noted was “brighter than ever.”

“First, we all share the same goal: to build a young, fast, exciting Canucks team that competes every night and ultimately has a chance to bring the Stanley Cup to Vancouver.

Big picture, our future is perhaps brighter than ever thanks to the depth of talent that Jim (Benning) and our scouts have assembled. Just like many of you, I’m excited about the group of prospects in our pipeline, including Elias Pettersson, Olli Juolevi, Thatcher Demko, Adam Gaudette, Kole Lind, Jonathan Dahlen, and others who are among many young players taking big steps.”

Vancouver, sitting 18 points out of a playoff spot, is firmly in sell mode for the NHL’s trade deadline, though there are reports they’re interested in re-signing a couple of pending UFAs, Erik Gudbranson and Thomas Vanek.

At last year’s deadline, Benning came away a big winner, considering his team was in a similar sell position. He was able to turn veterans Jannik Hansen and Alexandre Burrows into prospects Dahlen and Nikolay Goldobin, and both players have had strong years. Goldobin, 22, was better than a point-per-game player in the AHL and is currently with the NHL club, where he has four points in 14 games. Dahlen, just 20, has 38 points in 37 games with Timra in the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second-highest pro league.

And of course, much press has been given to 2017 first-rounder Pettersson as he continues to have an historic season in Sweden’s top league.

This success in accumulating prospects is surely what made Canucks ownership confident in signing Benning to a “multi-year extension” on Wednesday.

Though there is some question around the Canucks potentially keeping some veterans on expiring contracts, Linden hinted at the end of the note that a similar deadline strategy of hoarding young players could be used again in 2018.

“Moving forward, the next several months will be important as we add even more prospects to our pool and build on the positive steps we have seen this year. We still need to be patient, but I am excited about the journey ahead together. It’s going to be worth it, and I sincerely hope to welcome you back again for the 2018-19 season.”

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