The Vancouver Canucks were fined $50,000 for tampering, the NHL announced Tuesday.
The fine stems from a radio interview when Canucks general manager Jim Benning stated his desire to pursue Tampa Bay Lightning star forward Steven Stamkos in free agency and Montreal Canadiens All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban via trade.
Stamkos is under contract with the Lightning until Friday, and the window to talk to perspective free agents was not open at the time of the interview. Subban has been rumored to be available for the right price before his no-trade clause kicks in this summer.
"Canucks general manager Jim Benning violated the provisions of NHL By-Law 15 relating to inappropriate public comments by speaking generally to his club's potential interest in players under contract to other NHL clubs," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. "I spoke with Jim and accept his representation that he intended no harm with his comments and that he will handle similar questions from the media differently in the future."
The Canucks released the following statement from Benning via twitter after the league's announcement.
"Last week I was trying to be candid with our fans and media about out plans to improve our team but I said too much about players on other teams. I have spoken personally to the NHL and the general managers involved to apologize and I accept the league's ruling."