It’s been three weeks now since the Sam Bennett trade from the Calgary Flames to the Florida Panthers. You know, the Florida Panthers that have clinched a playoff spot. The Florida Panthers that are not only winning games with their first-string goalie, but also winning with their second and third-string goalies. But none of that has anything to do with the performance of Sam Bennett… does it?
Bennett Catches Fire
Bennett has played in just nine games as a Florida Panther. But in those nine games, he has scored five goals and has eight assists for thirteen points. That’s more points than he scored in 38 games last season with the Flames. It’s also more points than he got in 52 games the previous season. Only one other player in a Panthers uniform had as good of a start after nine games. A little-known Russian guy named Pavel Bure! Maybe it’s something in the water… ocean water that is.
Haters Were Wrong All Along
In the last few seasons, there have been many people that were hard on Bennett. The haters were out in full force after a loss. I will admit, I was one of them on occasion. I just didn’t see anything brewing inside of him. No fire or drive. Of course, that could be because he was on the third line for most of the time. When he was on the top lines, he produced. At least this season he did. I can’t recall if he had been on the top lines before, and if he was, what he did while he was there.
Helping Others See the Light
We won’t know just how much the Calgary Flames will benefit from the Sam Bennett trade, if at all. In exchange they got a prospect in forward Emil Heineman, and a second round pick in next summer’s NHL Draft.
What we do know is that a few Flames players are probably taking note of Bennett’s success since leaving. Perhaps opening their eyes to a brighter future somewhere else. Perhaps a Johnny Gaudreau in Philly (don’t @ me)? Maybe an Elias Lindholm in Carolina? I have no idea why I picked Carolina. It just popped into my head.
My point is, the Calgary Flames team we have now, just doesn’t have what it takes to be successful. They don’t have the chemistry to make the Sam Bennetts of the world perform to their potential. At least not anymore.
In my opinion, I think it’s time to send some guys elsewhere so they can play to their potential and win. Dare I say, start a rebuild! Not like a twenty year rebuild like the Oilers though. Please… I can’t handle that.
I’m Jason Beisick and I’ll be covering the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers for the Belly Up Hockey team. You can follow me on Twitter as well for general sports talk and likely some trash talk and check out my podcast.