Canucks fire GM Jim Benning on same night as coaching change

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning. (CP Photo)

The Vancouver Canucks have fired general manager Jim Benning, completing a franchise house-cleaning on Sunday night, Sportsnet can confirm.

The move came after Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Bruce Boudreau had been hired as coach to replace the fired Travis Green.

No replacement for Benning has been announced.

The Canucks lost for the 10th time in 13 games on Saturday, falling 4-1 to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

It was a particularly ugly night with fans chanting "Fire Benning" and one fan tossing a jersey on the ice near the end of the game, which came on the heels of a modest two-game win streak against two of the weaker teams in the league (Montreal and Ottawa).

The Canucks are 8-15-2 on the season, last in the Pacific Division.

The 58-year-old Benning, a native of Edmonton, had been Canucks GM since May 2014. He became the Canucks' top hockey executive when Trevor Linden stepped down as president in July 2018.

The Canucks made the playoffs in just two of Benning's seven full seasons in the club.

The best result came in 2019-20 when the Canucks made the deepest run of any Canadian team, falling in Game 7 of the second round against Vegas.

Benning, a former Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman, was hired by the Canucks from the Boston Bruins, where he was assistant general manager. Benning won a Stanley Cup ring in 2011 when the Bruins beat the Canucks in the Final.

Benning had a busy off-season this year, signing core pieces Elias Pettersson (three years, $7.35 million a year) and Quinn Hughes (six, $7.85 million a year) to extensions when the former first-round picks were restricted free agents.

Vancouver also traded for defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland, who signed a five-year contract with the Canucks after he was acquired.

Benning has one year remaining on his current contract, while Green agreed to a two-year extension in May.

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