Canucks fined $50,000 for violating public comments rule

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The NHL fined the Vancouver Canucks $50,000 on Tuesday for general manager Jim Benning's recent comments expressing interest on players currently under contract with other teams.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement that Benning violated "NHL By-Law 15 relating to inappropriate public comments by speaking generally to his club's potential interest in players under contract to other NHL clubs.

"I spoke with Jim and accept his representation that he intended no harm with his comments and that he will handle similar questions from the media differently in the future."

Benning, in an appearance with TSN Radio Vancouver on Thursday, said he was interested in adding both pending free agent Steven Stamkos and the Montreal Canadiens'P.K. Subban to his roster.

Although the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stamkos is set to become a free agent on July 1, the NHL's window for discussing contracts didn't open until Saturday, after Benning's comments.

Subban is under contract with the Canadiens through the 2021-22 season. Canadiens general managerMarc Bergevin said Friday after the first round of the NHL draft that Benning "crossed the line" with his comments about Subban.

Benning issued a statement that he accepted the league's punishment.

"Last week I was trying to be candid with our fans and media about our efforts to improve our team but said too much about players on other teams," Benning said. "I have spoken personally to the NHL and the general managers involved to apologize and I accept the league's ruling."