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Lightning Round: Canucks GM Jim Benning speaks to the media, blames others for team woes

and a developing story out of the USHL.

2016 NHL Draft - Round One
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24: General manager Jim Benning of the Vancouver Canucks speaks at the podium during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft at First Niagara Center on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.
Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks, who are bad, are only learning now that they are bad. So bad that their GM, Jim Benning, decided to do a press conference to talk about it. In his press conference he gave a weak admission of responsibility, deflecting attention to the major flooding going on in Vancouver than the team itself. Why bring that up in the middle of a question and not at the beginning?

Benning then pointed fingers at his stars, saying Elias Pettersson is not playing well and that’s the reason why the team sucks, while defending his costly offseason acquisitions Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Tucker Poolman, who have made a bad Canucks defense somehow even worse this season.

Our sister site, Nucks Misconduct, did a review of the press conference that I would recommend reading, and I’ll also link an article from Canucks Army on the fallout.

“We made some good moves this summer to strengthen the team. Bringing in Ekman-Larsson and Poolman, those are guys that could work with some of the players we have to make them better and I think they’ve shown that.” [Nucks Misconduct]

The only good that can really be taken from Benning’s press conference today is when he was asked if he feels a sense of responsibility about the team. But it’s hard to classify it as a “good” answer, as Benning deflected the question a bit by bringing up the Abbotsford floods. [Canucks Army]

Make sure to check out our recap on last night’s Tampa Bay Lightning shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers, including Steven Stamkos’ impossible angle goal.

“With less than two minutes left in the game, Stamkos won the faceoff and drifted towards the left corner of the offensive zone. From what I can see, it looks like Stamkos found a little patch of space between Hart’s right pad and the ice, right in that little triangular space where the face of the pad and the foot pad meet.” [Raw Charge]

This one will rip your heart out. 23-year-old rookie Riley Tufte gets called up by the Dallas stars to make his NHL debut on the road against his hometown Minnesota Wild, spends all his NHL salary (and even borrows tickets from Nick Bjugstad) from that day on tickets for his friends and family, only to be healthy scratched at the last minute by the coaching staff. Brutal, heartless miscommunication.

I know some regulars got healthy around gametime, but as the head coach you have to make the right decision. I don’t think scratching Tufte was the right decision, at all. And on top of that, the Stars lost 7-2 anyway.

“When we left here this morning, he was playing,” Bowness said. “I can’t do anything about that. I get here at 4 o’clock, they’re telling me these guys are in now. It changes everything. This morning, Riley was playing. I can’t do anything about that.” [Dallas News]

Some weird stuff is going on in the USHL as Omaha Lancers team president is causing chaos as players and staff are walking out. Here is Brad Elliott Schlossman, who broke the story and so much more with the story.

“Lancers players walked out Thursday morning and are refusing to play this weekend’s games at Waterloo and Lincoln. The entire remaining staff resigned, including acting head coach Sean Walsh, assistant coach Tate Maris and trainer Nick Hart.

“All said it began building earlier this season as the Lancers, owned by Anthony DiCesare, made major budget cuts that included the team’s video software, player equipment and even post-game meals for players.” [Grand Forks Herald]