Vancouver Canucks fans appear to be very invested in Toronto Maple Leafs’ ongoing search for a new general manager.
Since former GM Kyle Dubas was let go on Friday, talks of his replacement have already begun, and a few familiar names have been popping up. Among them is none other than former Vancouver GM Jim Benning.
While Benning, who held the position in Vancouver from 2014 to 2021, did draft star players like Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson, his tenure is remembered mostly as a disappointment. One indicator of that is the Canucks qualifying for the playoffs only twice during the eight seasons while Benning was general manager.
Now that his name has entered the Toronto rumour mill, some Vancouver fans are doing everything they can to manifest a similar stretch of fate for their rivals on the East Coast.
And with Leafs President and Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan saying he’d be interested in signing an “experienced GM,” Canucks fans might just get their wish.
In the meantime, the Twitter trolling and meme sharing has already begun.
Jim Benning is the man for the vacant Leafs GM position
— Matviyko (@kingmatviyko) May 19, 2023
Yes. Benning. The #Leafs should hire Jim Benning. Yes. Good.
— CrankyCanucksFan 😠 (@CrankyCanuckFan) May 20, 2023
Jim Benning to the Maple Leafs 🙏🏼. Make it happen Shanahan pic.twitter.com/QA9h9gdrSn
— Mike Martignago (@MikeMartignago) May 20, 2023
I hope the Leafs sign Peter Chiarelli or Jim Benning pic.twitter.com/2mim8ocQNQ
— Karman Gill (@Kgill39) May 19, 2023
My preferential Leafs GM rankings:
— Chris Conte (@ChrisConte79) May 20, 2023
One Canucks fan pointed to Benning’s time as a Leafs player as a sign that he should get the job.
Former Leafs player ✅
Decades of management/scouting experience ✅
Nearly a decade of specifically GM experience ✅
Stanley Cup ring ✅
The right choice. #LeafsForever https://t.co/x7bOrayIMC pic.twitter.com/Mr2yzosbuM
— 𝗜𝗮𝗻𝘄 🇨🇦 (@ianwcanucks) May 19, 2023
Nothing beats summer, a fire pit and talking Jim Benning to the Leafs pic.twitter.com/aq2HemnizY
— Chester Ming (@ChesterM222) May 20, 2023
One even put together a fake Toronto Pearson Airport spotting.
Just spotted former Canucks GM Jim Benning in the Toronto Pearson Airport 👀🤯 pic.twitter.com/kPZLXOWlzJ
— Mr Booth (@MrBooth07) May 20, 2023
According to Sports Interaction, the odds of Benning landing the job are listed at nine to one (9.00). Ahead of him are candidates like former Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving, Toronto’s assistant GM Brandon Pridham, and Carolina Hurricanes assistant GM Eric Tulsky.
As for Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, his future with the team is also up in the air. If he’s the next to go, Toronto can always offer the job to former Canucks coach Willie Desjardins…