NHL Rumor Mill – November 17, 2018
A look at some possible goalie options for the Calgary Flames and an update on Sam Bennett in your NHL rumor mill.
THE ATHLETIC: With Calgary Flames starting goaltender Mike Smith struggling (five wins in 13 starts, 3.48 goals-against average and a save percentage of .876) this season, Kent Wilson recently considered the Flames options.
Some trade targets to consider if the Flames are willing to pay could include the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford, the Montreal Canadiens’ Carey Price, the San Jose Sharks’ Aaron Dell, or either Pekka Rinne or Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Wilson is merely spitballing here. He lists a number of reasons why acquiring any of the aforementioned (cost, risk, no-trade clauses, expensive contracts, etc) would be difficult, if not almost impossible. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman yesterday dismissed the notion of Bobrovsky coming to Calgary, citing his no-movement clause.
I don’t see any of those goalies donning a Flames jersey anytime soon. Wilson pretty much acknowledged this, suggesting the Flames’ likely course of action is sticking with Smith and backup David Rittich and perhaps giving the latter more playing time.
CALGARY SUN: Taking note of Max Domi’s stunning improvement with the Montreal Canadiens this season, Wes Gilbertson wonders if Flames forward Sam Bennett might follow Domi’s lead and finally play up to expectations.
While speculating rival clubs may have expressed interest in Bennett, Gilbertson cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently noting the Flames’ reluctance to trade the under-performing Bennett for fear he’ll blossom into a star elsewhere.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the past couple of years, Bennett surfaced in the rumor mill as a possible trade candidate. I commend Flames’ management for staying patient with him, but as I’ve said before, they’re not going to wait forever. Bennett might not be a trade candidate now but that could change if he shows little signing of improvement over the course of this season.