New Nashville Predator Matt Benning comes from the Edmonton Oilers organization after three years of proving to be a tough, stay at home defender. The Predators have had to shuffle some players around this offseason, but are working hard to ensure that their Blueline is safe. They traded Nick Bonino away, for example, but they added Luke Kunin, a well regarded prospect for the future. And they added Benning.
Benning’s numbers look good, but a rigorous analysis of his style and ability must not be sold on him. I’m not much of an analyst, I’m just going off of the fact that Matt Benning didn’t end up in any of the organizations from which his family played or currently play a current role in. His grandfather was one of the great scouts the Montreal Canadiens had in their history, but there was no historical imperative on either side, apparently, to reunite the Benning name with the Hab organization.
More telling, perhaps, is that he didn’t end up in Vancouver. Not only did the Canucks see Benning more often than most other teams, being in the same division, but the team is run by his own uncle, Jim Benning. Maybe it’s just family code, that they have to succeed on their own merits, and not ride the coattails of their ancestors. There is further evidence that the Benning family is a no nepotism zone. Michael Benning was drafted by the Florida Panthers, another team that had no prior affiliation with the Bennings, and he wasn’t drafted until the 4th round. It’s not like he couldn’t have been picked by a familiar team.
Of course, maybe it’s not anything to do with nepotism. Maybe, just this one time I will take something at face value, and believe Benning when he says he just really likes the city of Nashville.