Sam Bennett is expected to be a healthy scratch again tonight for the Calgary Flames, according to Darren Dreger of TSN. Bennett, whose agent made it clear that a change of scenery would be welcome earlier this season, has been on quite the roller coaster. Suiting up on the fourth line one game, the first line beside Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau another, to finding himself in the press box watching, there has been very little consistency to his 22 games.
Still, there’s just not enough offensive production from Bennett no matter where he is plugged in. With just three goals and four points on the year, he is once again disappointing the Flames, who have now waited nearly seven years for Bennett to fulfill his fourth-overall status. His best offensive season was his rookie year when he scored 18 goals and 36 points.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t have Topi Niemela in the system next season, as the young defenseman has signed a one-year extension with his Finnish club for the 2021-22 season. Niemela, 18, was the 64th pick in the 2020 draft but has already seen his stock rise after being named the best defenseman at the recent World Junior tournament. He has recorded four points in 15 games for Karpat this season and will stay overseas for at least another year.
- Trent Frederic might not be so quick to get in Alex Ovechkin’s face the next time they meet, after a spearing incident last night. Ovechkin has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for “cup-checking” Frederic after the two had several meetings throughout the game. Frederic, who fought Tom Wilson earlier this season, had challenged Ovechkin earlier in the game, but the veteran spurned the offer. The young Bruins forward has shown a willingness to engage anyone in the league but still hasn’t added much offense—just two goals and three NHL points—since being selected with the 29th pick in 2016.