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Former Bruins assistant GM fined by NHL for tampering comments

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Canucks general manager Jim Benning (above), a former assistant GM of the Bruins, was fined $50,000 by the NHL for his comments last week.Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The NHL has fined the Canucks $50,000 for tampering after general manager Jim Benning mentioned specific players the team might be interested in.

Benning noted the Canucks' interest in Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and Lightning captain Steven Stamkos last week during a radio interview before the NHL draft in Buffalo, N.Y.

NHL rules bar teams from discussing their interest in players who are under contract. The one exception is during a window of opportunity that opened on Saturday, when all teams are allowed to contact pending free agents, but not allowed to sign them until Friday.

Benning spoke two days before that window opened.


"Last week I was trying to be candid with our fans and media about our efforts to improve our team but said too much about players on other teams," said Benning on Tuesday. "I have spoken personally to the NHL and the general managers involved to apologize and I accept the league's ruling."

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters that Benning "crossed the line" in divulging trade conversations involving Subban, who is signed through the 2021-22 season.

"I spoke with Jim and accept his representation that he intended no harm with his comments and that he will handle similar questions from the media differently in the future," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.