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Benning remains resistant to more aggressive Canucks rebuild

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 15: Brandon Sutter #20 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his game winning goal against the Calgary Flames with teammate Christopher Tanev #8 during a shootout of their NHL game at Rogers Arena on October 15, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images)

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The Vancouver Canucks may have lost nine straight games, and they may only have one regulation win in their first 13, but true to form, their general manager isn’t giving up yet.

In the face of renewed calls for a more aggressive rebuild, Jim Benning told The Province newspaper that he wasn’t interested in trading a player like Chris Tanev.

“Tanev is a big part of our group and we’re not looking to move him,” Benning said. “Chris is still young and one of our better defensemen .... It all starts with your D-men and getting out of your own zone fast and getting through the neutral zone. We miss Chris when he’s not playing.”

Of course, all the reasons Benning provided for keeping Tanev are the exact same reasons for trading him. The 26-year-old would net the Canucks a solid return, one that could be put toward a brighter long-term future for the franchise.

But so far, Benning has resisted such trades. It was a similar response over the summer when it came to Jannik Hansen.

“We’re not moving Jannik,” he said in July. “I thought he was excellent for us last year and with the way the game is going with speed and skill, he fits that description perfectly. And we have him under a good (cap) number the next couple of years, so we’re not looking to do anything.”

The problem is, the “next couple of years” don’t look so promising for the Canucks. Hence, the argument to get what they can now for Tanev, Hansen, Alex Edler, or whichever veterans (not named Sedin) won’t still be in their primes when the club is ready to be competitive again.

Now, would the Canucks be even worse without Tanev, Edler and Hansen in the lineup?

Yes, they would.

But let’s face it, the argument to develop the Canucks’ young players in a “winning environment” kind of loses strength when all the team does is lose.

Vancouver continues its six-game road trip tonight in New York against the Rangers.

Related: Benning says Canucks need Virtanen in Vancouver, not the AHL