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Canucks fined for tampering, though Benning ‘intended no harm with his comments’

2014 NHL Draft - Round 1

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Jim Benning, General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks is seen prior to the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The NHL has come down on Vancouver GM Jim Benning for remarks made during draft weekend in Buffalo.

From the league:

The Vancouver Canucks organization has been fined $50,000 for violating NHL By-Law 15, the National Hockey League announced today.

“Canucks General Manager Jim Benning violated the provisions of NHL By-Law 15 relating to inappropriate public comments by speaking generally to his Club’s potential interest in players under contract to other NHL Clubs,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

“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,” the Deputy Commissioner added.

The League will have no further comment on the matter.

Benning found himself in hot water after admitting the Canucks were interested in a pair of players -- Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, and Habs blueliner P.K. Subban.

“The price would be really high to acquire a player like that,” Benning said of Subban. “We’ve done our due diligence, like we do with all the players who are out there. But it’s a long way from completing a trade like that.”

Those comments irked Montreal GM Marc Bergevin.

“I was not happy and I’m still not happy about that,” Bergevin said, per the Vancouver Sun. “The league is looking into it. He crossed the line. I don’t know where the line was crossed but he definitely crossed the line. It can’t happen.”

Following the NHL’s ruling, the Canucks released the following statement: