The Calgary Flames have a lot of questions this offseason after a disappointing season that leaves them wondering what happened. However, the biggest question probably falls on what to do with Sam Bennett. The former fourth-overall pick in 2014 should be improving every season, but that hasn’t been the case for the 21-year-old who has seen his numbers drop every year.
After putting up 18 goals and 18 assists in a promising rookie season, he has put up only 26 points in each of the last two seasons and his goals have dropped from 13 in 2016-17 to 11 this year. The Calgary Sun’s Wes Gilbertson writes the team must decide whether he can take his game up several notches or whether to use him as trade bait. Of course, you don’t want to be the general manager that trades him away only to thrive with another team, but the team needs production out of the forward and is running out of time to figure out if he is the star they thought they drafted. He has one year left after this one at $1.95MM before hitting restricted free agency again.
- The Chicago Blackhawks think they have found something in defenseman Connor Murphy. The 25-year-old, who was acquired in the Niklas Hjalmarsson trade last season from Arizona, struggled early on in the season with Chicago, according to Chicago Sun Times’ Mark Potash, but was one of the team’s better defensemen in the second half and the team believes he can develop into a top-four defenseman. “If you look at the way he played over the last 30 to 40 games, I think there’s reason for excitement,” said Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman.
- The Colorado Avalanche is without defenseman Samuel Girard today as the young defenseman is out with an upper-body injury sustained in a hit from Nashville’s Filip Forsberg during Thursday’s game. The rookie defenseman is day-to-day.
- Vegas Golden Knights winger David Perron, who has been out since Mar. 26 with an undisclosed injury, says he hopes to play before the series with the Los Angeles Kings is over, but did not give a timetable on a potential return, according to SinBinVegas.
- The Anaheim Ducks expect defenseman Kevin Bieksa to play in Game 2 tonight against the San Jose Sharks, according to Orange Country Register’s Eric Stephens. Bieksa has been out since Mar. 12 after having hand surgery. Stephens also notes that defenseman Cam Fowler is no longer wearing a sling on his shoulder and will resume skating shortly. The blueliner has missed 13 straight games, but no timetable is set for his return.