Don’t call it a ‘rebuild’ — Benning explains Canucks moves


PHILADELPHIA — Canucks general manager Jim Benning said Thursday that he wasn’t worried about the Ryan Kesler situation turning into another Roberto Luongo soap opera in Vancouver. He said he was more than willing to keep Kesler, as opposed to trading him for less than fair value.

On Friday, though, Benning traded Kesler to Anaheim, partly because he “didn’t want this to fester.”

With Kesler unhappy playing for a Canucks team he felt was no longer a Stanley Cup contender, Benning confirmed that the player had requested a trade, to either Anaheim or Chicago.

“His wish was to go to a team that he felt has a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” said Benning. “We asked him for more teams over the course of the last three weeks and he was pretty steadfast on going to one of these two teams.”

Benning added that Kesler “felt he needed a fresh start and, quite frankly, we don’t want somebody that doesn’t want to be here. … We would have liked to keep him, but his mind was made up so we did the best we could in the situation.”

The best the Canucks could do was get Nick Bonino (a “second-line center iceman” who can help replace Kesler’s goal-scoring, according to Benning) and Luca Sbisa (a “guy that we feel can grow into a top four defenseman”), plus the 24th overall pick in today’s draft.

Vancouver also sent Jason Garrison (and his contract) to Tampa Bay, plus got winger Derek Dorsett from the Rangers in a separate trade.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a rebuild,” said Benning. “We acquired players that we thought are going to have an impact on us winning next year. We got Bonino, we feel Sbisa is going to develop into a real good defenseman for us, Dorsett is going to help us as a good penalty killer. We’ve been talking about bringing in some good energy guys that are going to work hard and compete hard physically and he’s going to do that for us. So that’s kind of why we did it, to help our team.

“If it was going to be a rebuild then maybe we wouldn’t have tried to fight so hard to get players that can come in and help our team win next year.”

Related: Kesler makes Ducks better, but are they good enough?

Video: Kings, Kopitar exploit Edler’s gaffe for OT win vs. Canucks

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Alexander Edler probably feels some serious shame right now.

The Vancouver Canucks defenseman is getting some heat for a bad blunder on what became the Los Angeles Kings’ overtime game-winning goal by Anze Kopitar.

You can see the decisive goal in the video above, which meant a 2-1 overtime victory for the Kings over the Canucks.

Just a (safe for work) sampling of the reactions toward Edler:

Again, those are the more … sanitized reactions.

Jacob Markstrom didn’t get the win despite keeping Vancouver in the game. The big Swede made 38 out of 40 saves, yet that last goal will burn.

For Los Angeles, it’s another reminder that this team sure is scrappy.

Let’s be honest: it’s better to go late into a game with a lead against the Kings, but a small margin makes for some serious discomfort.

Malkin, Kessel dominate as Pens stump Sharks

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Sometimes an angry Evgeni Malkin means a stray power play or two for his opponents, but it’s usually not the best idea to make him angry.

Giving a player that big and talented extra motivation just seems like a bad idea, right?

Joel Ward experienced that phenomenon on Tuesday, as Malkin responded to a blow from Ward with the goal you can see below.

Malkin scored a goal and two assists while Phil Kessel found the net twice in Pittsburgh’s 5-1 win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Malkin now has a four-game goal streak going (five goals, three assists). He also has 13 points in his past seven games.

Marc-Andre Fleury deserves plenty of credit, too, as he stopped 33 out of 34 shots and continues to quietly generate some of the best work of his sometimes-polarizing career.

This was a nice way for the Penguins to begin a four-game Western road trip, although they’ll need to wait a while to try to keep it going; their next game comes in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Of course: Ryan Suter wins it for Wild vs. ‘Hawks after those wild quotes

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You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”

Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.

Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.

Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?

As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).

Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.

Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.

It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.

Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16

Sean Couturier
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When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.

The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.

Joy abounded.

Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.

Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.

If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.