VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Vancouver Canucks hired Jim Benning as general manager Wednesday.

Benning is the first significant hire made by Trevor Linden, the former Canucks star who took over as president of hockey operations after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in six years.

The 51-year-old Benning spent the last eight seasons with the Boston Bruins, including seven as assistant general manager. The former Canucks defenseman replaces Mike Gillis, fired as president and general manager a day after the club was eliminated from playoff contention.

“Jim brings a wealth of hockey experience as a builder and talent evaluator that will benefit this team for years to come,” Linden said in a statement. “We are aligned on how we want to build this team and Jim’s level of commitment to building a championship team is exciting.”

Linden also fired coach John Tortorella after one season with the team.

Benning had 52 goals and 191 assists in 610 games in nine seasons with Toronto and Vancouver.

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