While the Calgary Flames lost 5-2 at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks on their season opener Wednesday night, fans have to admit they looked pretty good with newly acquired forward James Neal pushing the offense along with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. On Saturday night, Calgary will get to take its revenge on the Canucks as the Flames play in front of their local fans.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman was on the air of Sportnet's 960 in Calgary this morning, and made a point to address the future of young forward Sam Bennett with the club. The 22-year-old sure hasn't had the career trajectory fans and management had hoped for, however, Friedman believes that the Flames might still have hope that he will be a game-changer in the future.
While rival teams could be looking to pry him out of Calgary, Friedman believes the asking price will be pretty high, despite Bennett just recorded 26 points in 82 games last season.
“It looks like his role is not as high in the Flames as he would have hoped he would have had at this point in his career. But I’m not so convinced that they’re that interested in giving him away. I think your GM is well-aware about the potential, and I think he’s got a very long-term vision in the sense that if anyone is calling him about Bennett, I think the price is pretty high," said Friedman.
Friedman cannot imagine the Flames placing him on waivers in order to send him down to the American Hockey League and claims that Calgary would lose him for nothing if they make that mistake.
"If you put him on waivers you would lose him.”
But we have to admit, the kid would greatly benefit from a change of scenery. After being fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Bennett has tallied just 42 goals and 89 points in 242 NHL games so far...
"(Calgary) is looking at it like, ‘This is not necessarily a trade that we want to make,’ and I completely understand it. I completely get it. I think that’s the kind of trade you make with a fear that he figures it out somewhere else, and you don’t want to see that happen.
“It’s not a great situation for anybody. But it’s not one I see a really easy answer to because it’s one of those situations where you know another team is going to say, ‘Well, I’m not going to give you this because he’s not playing,’ and the Flames are saying, ‘Well, I’m not taking that’ because the kid is 22 years old, and he’s got a lot of potential.”