HIT THE PANIC BUTTON! SAM BENNETT IS A HEALTHY SCRATCH TONIGHT!!!!!! Ok, now that that is out of way, get over it. The Flames are saying all the right things about Bennett not being in the lineup, but it certainly, on the surface, looks like something is afoot.
Bennett’s future with the Flames has been speculated on even more after last Saturday night’s bombshell dropped by Elliotte Friedman saying Bennett’s agent is looking for a trade/”change of scenery.” If you have been living under a rock recently, here is Friedman’s piece for Sportsnet.
Calgary has given no indication they will move the former #4 overall draft pick, but sitting him as a healthy scratch after that information was released to the public looks a little “iffy.” Certain players get maintenance days, but those are usually at practice and there’s been no injury report or illness attributed to Sam Bennett, so you do the math.
It wouldn’t be shocking if Bennett was moved as it’s been an underwhelming career for the heralded prospect in Calgary. Fans claim that he doesn’t get enough Top 6 minutes to prove how good he is. I say the other side of the coin is “what has he done to earn those minutes?” It’s a battle no one will win. The big belief in Bennett is that he’s worth keeping around because of his playoff performance, but that’s a lot of eggs in one basket that you may never get to use. Also, being the “best” player on the Flames in the playoffs recently isn’t exactly a prize anyone wants to win.
In the end, this may be the end for the Flames and Sam Bennett and that’s not a bad thing. Players and teams sometimes need to step back and look at what’s best for each party. Bennett may move on and become a special player somewhere else. Or, he may just be what he is now after 373 NHL games and only 129 points: a bottom four forward who rarely shows up in the regular season and plays well, relative to his team’s success in the playoffs.
Bennett has played in all nine Flames games this season with one lowly assist to his name. Dominik Simon will scrub in tonight for Bennett and see his sixth game with Calgary in 2021. He has no points in those six games.