Jim Benning made the trade winds blow in his debut at the NHL draft Friday. Two deals completed and a big one that fell through in the final hours.
The Vancouver Canucks GM, hired this month, served notice he’s going to make changes by dealing Ryan Kesler to Anaheim and defenceman Jason Garrison to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Then, he acquired Derek Dorsett from the New York Rangers. He spent the whole day working the phones.
Benning also made a strong pitch to try to move up in the draft. League sources say the Canucks were aggressive in trying to make a deal with Florida Panthers to get the No. 1 overall selection.
While the Panthers resisted in the end, it wasn’t for a lack of trying by Benning. He made a pitch right up to the final hour as he tries to rebuild the Canucks and return them to respectability.
In the end, Panther GM Dale Tallon didn’t like what he was offered and went the safe route by keeping the pick.