Over the weekend Darren Ferris, the agent for both Sam Bennett and Victor Mete, voiced some displeasure through the media. First Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported that Bennett hoped for a change of scenery, not using the term trade request but implying that the young forward would welcome a move. Then later that evening, several reports surfaced of Mete also wanting out, this time from the Montreal Canadiens where he had not played a single game this season.
Both players obviously want more opportunity, but both the Flames and Canadiens have since denied that formal trade requests were made. Today, Eric Francis of Sportsnet published a piece examining the situation in Calgary, reporting that though the organization does not question Friedman’s report, they were “blindsided” by it. They had not been given a trade request from Bennett or his agent and will not comment on the matter publicly. That’s not to say Bennett doesn’t want out, just that the two sides were not on the same page.
Meanwhile, in Montreal, GM Marc Bergevin quickly told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic on Saturday that he wouldn’t be trading Mete, but it appears the agent’s gambit may have worked in part. The young defenseman will be in the lineup tonight against the Vancouver Canucks, skating on a pair with rookie Alexander Romanov as Brett Kulak draws out. This could have been Montreal’s plan all along—in fact, head coach Claude Julien tells Eric Engels of Sportsnet exactly that—but it certainly is coincidental that Mete would receive his first game of the season less than 48 hours after the agent went public with his displeasure.
At any rate, it appears as though Mete will get a chance to prove he belongs in the Montreal lineup. Bennett, who was already in the lineup but being deployed on the third or fourth line, is a story to keep an eye on. If he truly wants out, you can bet the situation will likely get worse before it gets better.