Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Jim Benning
Defenceman Jim Benning was an excellent playmaker whose success was built on his superior passing skills and range of vision on the ice. He was neither a fast skater nor a physical player, but he managed to utilize his strengths remarkably well in junior and effectively in the NHL.

The native of Edmonton, Alberta was one of the top-scoring blueliners in the history of the WHL. After scoring 71 points in 45 games for the Fort Saskatchewan Traders of the AJHL, Benning joined the Portland Winter Hawks. He averaged a point per game in 1979-80 and then led the league with 111 assists in 1980-81. He was claimed sixth overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Entry Draft and appeared set for a fine NHL career.

It was Benning's misfortune to be selected by Toronto during this period. He was rushed to the NHL in 1981-82 and lost much of his confidence while playing on one of the league's sad sack teams. He showed flashes of potential, registering 24 assists, but would have been better off developing in the minors. Benning spent five years in Toronto and had a career best 51 points in 1983-84.

In December 1986, he and Dan Hodgson were sent to the Vancouver Canucks in a trade for veteran Rick Lanz. Benning took fewer chances on the West Coast, but he became a more complete player. He was a mainstay on the team when it nearly upset the eventual Stanley Cup champion Calgary Flames in the opening round of the 1988-89 post-season. Benning spent one more year in Vancouver before spending the 1990-91 schedule with the Milwaukee Admirals of the IHL. He retired in 1992 after playing 18 games with Varese in the Italian League.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1978-79 Fort Saskatchewan Traders AJHL 45 14 57 71 10
1978-79 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 3 0 0 0 0
1979-80 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 71 11 60 71 42 8 3 9 12 6
1980-81 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 72 28 111 139 61 9 1 5 6 16
1981-82 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74 7 24 31 46 -27
1982-83 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74 5 17 22 47 -8 4 1 1 2 2
1983-84 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 79 12 39 51 66 -4
1984-85 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 9 35 44 55 -39
1985-86 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 52 4 21 25 71 -4
1986-87 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 5 0 0 0 4 0
1986-87 Newmarket Saints AHL 10 1 5 6 0
1986-87 Vancouver Canucks NHL 54 2 11 13 40 +9
1987-88 Vancouver Canucks NHL 77 7 26 33 58 0
1988-89 Vancouver Canucks NHL 65 3 9 12 48 -4 3 0 0 0 0
1989-90 Vancouver Canucks NHL 45 3 9 12 26 +4
1990-91 Milwaukee Admirals IHL 66 1 31 32 75 6 0 0 0 0
1991-92 AS Varese Alpenliga 18 3 13 16 30
1991-92 AS Varese Italy 18 0 12 12 14 7 0 2 2 50
NHL Totals 605 52 191 243 461 7 1 1 2 2


Brother of Brian
WHL First All-Star Team (1981)
Traded to Vancouver by Toronto with Dan Hodgson for Rick Lanz, December 2, 1986.
Surname(s) beginning with