NHL Rumor Mill – October 6, 2018
Latest on the Flames and Oilers in your NHL rumor mill.
BENNETT’S FUTURE WITH THE FLAMES
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites NHL insider Elliotte Friedman discussing Calgary Flames forward Sam Bennett with Calgary’s Sportsnet 960. While Bennett’s career hasn’t taken off as hoped with the Flames, Friedman doubts general manager Brad Treliving will give the forward away via trade anytime soon. “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.
Bennett was the Flames’ first-round pick (fourth overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft. While he might benefit from a change of scenery, Friedman doubts that’s a trade the Flames want to make right now as he might blossom elsewhere.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the 22-year-old Bennett will one day start to play up to expectations. The case can also be made that what we see is what we get with Bennett. The Flames might be willing to stick with him for now but that patience isn’t limitless.
Cap Friendly indicates Bennett’s in the final season of a two-year, $3.9-million contract and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. Another disappointing performance could see him hit the trade block by the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline or once the playoffs end next spring.
QUESTIONS REMAIN OVER OILERS BLUELINE
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples recently weighed in on the Oilers signing Jason Garrison earlier this week to a one-year contract. He noted TSN’s Ryan Rishaug is painting a bleak picture of the club’s blueline woes, “so much so that Rishaug has talked about the notion of trading Kailer Yamamoto or Jesse Puljujarvi and a pick in a big trade for a d-man.”
Staples isn’t in that camp, noting such a move for a top-four defenseman would also mean the Oilers would have to trade Matt Benning or Darnell Nurse or Oscar Klefbom to free up salary cap room for that newcomer’s contract. “That Oilers player would be a big part of the package, meaning you wouldn’t have to include a top winger prospect. If you’re trading for a bottom-pairing d-man, well, why on earth would you give up Yamamoto or Puljujarvi for a bottom-pairing d-man?”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staples feels the Oilers should remain patient with their defense and see how things unfold. Perhaps one of their younger blueliners (Evan Bouchard or Ethan Bear) could fill that bottom-six spot. If not, then explore the trade market to see what’s available without having to deal away a promising winger.