If the Canucks get everything they want, you’ll be watching Steven Stamkos, Milan Lucic, and PK Subban play alongside the Sedins next season.
Keep in mind if the team got what it wanted, they’d have 40 Stanley Cup wins by now too.
Still, Jim Benning created a hell of a stir the day before the Entry Draft, when he was honest and open on what he’d like the team to achieve in the coming weeks.
Speaking with TSN 1040 radio, Benning was asked straight up if Vancouver would call Stamkos once he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
His answer was even straighter: “Yes. Yes we will… We’re going to pick up the phone and talk to his agent.”
Benning was equally as honest about his hopes to sign Milan Lucic, who he has a more realistic chance of signing, saying he’ll talk to Lucic and his agent on Sunday when they return to Vancouver to “try to sell them what we have to offer.”
Benning said he’s not concerned about Lucic’s age because, “He’s a unique player. At 6′-3″ and 238lbs, he can get in on the forecheck and he can knock the defenceman off the puck, but he’s got the skillset and the hands to make plays with the puck… I think he would provide us with the skillset we don’t particularly have in the top group.”
If you’re not yet excited, he’s got more free agency plans: “We’re going to talk to the top couple of wingers in this free agent class. We’d like to add one what I call impact player- 20-30 goal scorer – and maybe a secondary piece if we could.”
See? It’s happening.
And we haven’t even got to the possible Subban trade yet. Benning was a little more realistic on the possibility of this one happening: “We’ve been one of the teams that’ve talked to them but we haven’t gone down the path to make believe that that’s something that’s going to be real or not.”
He didn’t completely shut down the possibility though: “I would think if it’s something that could happen we’d have to have a lot of dialogue tonight through the night,” said Benning. “If it depends on the pick who’s there at fifth, that could play into it, so there’s a lot of moving pieces where we’re nowhere near close.”
The only thing left for Benning to comment on was if he’d be looking to move the Canucks’ fifth overall draft pick up or down.
On what it’ll take to move up, he explained the price doesn’t make sense. “I’m real happy at 5. I’m content at 5,” he said. “There’s six players we really like so I’ve told teams that are trying to move down and teams that are trying to move up that it’s going to have to be something that really makes a lot of sense for us to do it because I think we’re sitting in a perfect hole.”
And on if Vancouver will try to add one or two more picks in the second and third rounds, he said trading for a draft pick will take a player who’s currently on a contract, so it’s very hard to do. Benning explained that in Vancouver’s eyes there are 20 players who are top-six forwards or top-ten defencemen, and after that 15 players who will be NHL players.
Beyond those 35 players, the second round isn’t very deep and there’s a drop off in the third round.
In summary, something will happen in the next two weeks.