The Calgary Flames have burst out of the gates under new head coach Bill Peters this season, winning two straight and score 10 goals along the way, after dropping their season opener to the Vancouver Canucks. The Flames came back to blow up the Canucks 7-4 this past weekend and looked quite impressive in a 3-0 over the Nashville Predators earlier this week. Newcomer Elias Lindholm has seemingly found a fit on the top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, while another newcomer free agent addition James Neal has also produced an assist in his first three games with the Flames.
One young, offensive Flames forward however, 22-year-old Sam Bennett, has struggled so far, going pointless in three games. Consistency has been a struggle for Bennett throughout his entire career, so much so that he’s come nowhere close to replicating his rookie season totals of 18 goals and 36 points back in 2015-16. In his latest 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman wondered whether or not a change of scenery could work in Bennett’s favor or not.
However, one thing is clear: the Flames will be very careful with how they deal with this possible transaction. During a Friday morning radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, Friedman revisited the possibility of trading Bennett, however, he revealed that the Flames refuse to make the same mistake that the Edmonton Oilers ended up making with... Taylor Hall.
“I don’t get the sense that it’s ever been close to the point where it was actually imminent,” explained Friedman, as noted by Chris Nichols of Nichols on Hockey. “I think they’ve gone far down the road at times. I think there are situations where maybe people thought they were getting close to a deal, but I don’t think it’s ever been at a point where anyone ever said, ‘We’re about to get this done.’
“I think at the end of the day, the Flames have always looked at what happened with Taylor Hall in Edmonton and said, ‘Yeah, I’m not sure we really want to do this.’
“I think they’re still kind of in that point right now. I think what’s happened up the road has really influenced the Flames’ decisions when it comes to Bennett.”
Friedman has noted that the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, and Tampa Bay Lightning are among the teams who have inquired about Bennett through the years. But you can tell the Flames have leaned a valuable lesson from their rivals...
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