Jordie Benn was a key piece on the Montreal Canadiens for the last two years and the next spot for him is back on the west with the Vancouver Canucks.
Marc Bergevin made it clear that Jordie Benn wouldn’t be part of the Montreal Canadiens any longer. Benn voiced his love for the city and a willingness to stay on the team, but the business angle of the NHL pointed to another direction for the veteran.
Benn initially joined the Habs at the 2017 trade deadline from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Greg Pateryn. He was a veteran addition to the team’s defence, but as the years went on, the Habs started to use him in the top four, perhaps more than they should’ve. Benn was excellent on the bottom pair giving the Canadiens a good option on the penalty kill given his willingness to block shots and be physical in front of the net.
Another aspect of Benn that didn’t come up as much was his shot which is pretty underrated. Benn had only two goals in his initial stint with the Montreal Canadiens but doubled up on that total the year after while scoring five this past season. The 2018-19 campaign was also a career year for Benn who brought his point total to 22 with the 17 assists he had on his stat line.
Issues with Benn came up when the Habs played him far above his pay grade. In efforts to find a partner for captain Shea Weber, the team would slide the 31-year-old up having him play against the league’s best. That is when fans started to change their tune on Benn as he was being consistently exposed on the top pair.
There weren’t any problems to begin this year as Benn started on the bottom pair with Xavier Ouellet and looked good. But the Montreal Canadiens couldn’t help themselves and promoted him throughout the season.
Benn is getting a raise heading to Vancouver signing for two years at $2 million, up from the $1.1 million contract he originally had with the Stars.
The Vancouver Canucks will be in a good spot if they use Jordie Benn on the bottom pair and on the penalty kill. However, considering how thin the defence is there (even after signing Tyler Myers), it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Canucks play Benn in a top-four role, at least until their younger defensive prospects are ready.
On the bright side, the Western Canada road trip got a lot more interesting.