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Tortorella’s departure fetches 55th pick for depth-hungry Canucks

May 31st, 2017 at 4:10 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

John Tortorella’s exit from Vancouver meant arrival of 2017 second-round pick. Jamie Sabau / NHLI via Getty Images Files

There was going to be a silver lining in the departure of John Tortorella after an erratic and entertaining one-year reign of error with the Vancouver Canucks.

We just didn’t know when. Now we do.

The Columbus Blue Jackets had to surrender a second-round compensatory draft pick for the October 2015 hiring of the bombastic coach â?? a loophole that has since been closed â?? and they had the option of doing it in 2016, 2017 or 2018. This year made the most sense.

The Blue Jackets know that replicating a franchise-best 108-point season, fourth-highest in the National Hockey League, will be difficult. And if they slide back to the pack next season, the compensatory pick will be higher than the 55th overall they surrendered Wednesday, the deadline for getting the paperwork completed before Thursday’s decision.

Jim Benning will have four picks in the first 64 selections at the 2017 NHL draft.

There was some thought the Blue Jackets might dangle the 2017 pick to the Vegas Golden Knights in pre-expansion draft dealings, but any possible move is not involving the pick. For the Canucks, it now involves some level of intrigue.

With four picks in the first 64 selections â?? including No. 5, 33 and 55 â?? when the draft is held June 23-24 in Chicago, general manager Jim Benning can continue to stock the prospect cupboard or be bolder and move picks to move up or down the draft ladder.

“This is a year we can add some more depth into our …

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Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets, Hockey, Jim Benning, John Tortorella, NHL, Vancouver Canucks

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