Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning is one of the more candid team executives in the league.
That willingness to be open and transparent ended up getting him in some trouble with the NHL.
According to TSN's Darren Dreger, Benning is going to be fined for public comments he made on trying to acquire Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos.
Vancouver's Jim Benning will be fined for his public comments on Steven Stamkos and PK Subban, although Benning's intent wasn't malicious.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 25, 2016
When you actually read the comments, "wasn't malicious" is probably going to see like a pretty big understatement because he was simply saying what everybody already knows when it comes to other team's top players: He would like to acquire them if at all possible. But other NHL teams and the league itself take these things rather seriously.
Benning made his comments during an appearance on TSN radio 1040 in Vancouver (you can read them all here as transcribed by Jason Botchford of the National Post).
In the days leading up to the draft Subban's name surprisingly surfaced in trade rumors, most likely because he has a no-trade clause that kicks in on July 1 and teams were just simply reaching out to see if they could do something. Benning admitted that the Canucks were one of the teams that talked to the Canadiens to talk about the all-star defenseman, before acknowledging that there was nothing to make him believe acquiring him was a real possibility.
The Canadiens were not happy about those comments and general manager Marc Bergevin even filed a complaint with the league that initiated its investigation.
After discussing Subban, Benning was then asked about potentially reaching out to Stamkos, who will be eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1 but is still currently under contract with the Lightning.
"Yes. Yes, we will. We're going to get the draft here ... and then we're going to pick up the phone and we're going to call his agent," Benning said, again, via the National Post.
Starting at midnight on Saturday teams were able to begin courting upcoming free agents and contacting them. If he had waited until after then to say he had intended to speak with Stamkos' agent, there would have been no issue when it comes to discussing Stamkos.
There is no official word yet on how much he will be fined.