Pat LaFontaine (pictured) and the Buffalo Sabres have received permission from Boston to speak with Bruins assistant GM Jim Benning, according to a wide variety of sources, including CSNNE.com.
Numerous reports indicate that Benning joins the following list of candidates: Jason Botterill, Rick Dudley and Paul Fenton. The CBC’s Elliotte Friedman points out that Benning, Botterill and Dudley have some connections to the Buffalo organization.
(For more on Botterill, click here.)
CSNNE.com points out that Benning came over to Boston in 2006 after serving scouting duties with the Sabres. The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa tweets that Benning was in Buffalo when they drafted players including Dennis Wideman and Daniel Paille.
Friedman provides some insight, asking how Benning would feel if the Sabres believe that their rebuild can be a quick one:
I’d love to hear Benning’s answer to this question. His playing career was hurt when Toronto Maple Leafs rushed him (with Fred Boimistruck and Bob McGill) in 1981. He is probably the least known of the candidates. But it was a huge loss (and Boston’s gain) when he left during the Tom Golisano era. Benning has some very big fans in the scouting community. “Do not sleep on his chances,” one source said.