Canucks' Benning: We 'ran out of time' trying to re-sign Toffoli
"It was our intention to try and get him signed, and if we could have had a little more time, we could have tried to work through that,” Benning said, according to The Province's Ben Kuzma. "It got to a point where I know Tyler wanted to come back, and we were trying to figure it out.
"We kind of ran out of time with him getting offers and one he needed to take. We would have had to move money out."
The Canucks acquired Toffoli at last season's trade deadline, and the forward made an immediate impact. He scored six goals and added four assists in 10 regular-season games, and played through an injury to contribute four points in seven playoff contests.
Benning had his hands full during the offseason, letting Jacob Markstrom and Chris Tanev walk in free agency largely due to cap constraints. To fill the gaps, he signed Braden Holtby and Travis Hamonic and acquired Nate Schmidt.
The Canucks finished 10th in the league in scoring last year with 224 goals, which Benning reportedly pointed to as a reason for letting Toffoli walk. The GM said there were other priorities to address, such as defense and goaltending, since the club proved its ability to score, according to Kuzma.
Toffoli is off to a scorching start with the Montreal Canadiens, who signed him to a four-year, $17-million contract. He's played especially great against Vancouver, scoring eight goals in the five games between the two teams this season.