New Canucks general manager Jim Benning spoke with Team 1040 radio this afternoon in Vancouver (audio). Here are the bullet points:
— There have already been “a couple of interviews” for the vacant head-coaching job, and there will be a “bunch more” next week.
— Benning was asked about the picture of him and former Canucks coach Marc Crawford having a coffee that’s floating around the interwebs, but didn’t say anything definitive about Crawford’s chances of getting the job. In all, six to eight candidates will be interviewed before a decision is made.
— Benning is looking for a “teaching style” coach and doesn’t believe that coaches who are “yellers and screamers” can be successful in the NHL anymore. No, he did not mention John Tortorella specifically.
— Benning also said that much of the due diligence on a coach has been done “before the guy shows up for the interview.”
My take? If I had to bet, I’d say Willie Desjardins — currently coaching AHL Texas in the Calder Cup finals — is the favorite. Desjardins likes to “move the puck and attack,” and Benning has said he wants his team to “play an up-tempo, fast-skating, skilled game.” Desjardins is also a teacher, not a yeller-and-screamer. Seems like a match there.
Kings assistant coach John Stevens and Portland Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston could also be in the mix.
PS — On the subject of Ryan Kesler, Benning said that he speaks with Kesler’s agent on “a daily basis.” (It’s expected that Kesler will be traded this offseason.)
PPS — Here’s a fun clip of Crawford yelling and screaming: