Flames Assign Sam Bennett to Kingston

In a move that ends weeks and weeks of speculation, the Calgary Flames today announced that they’re returning center Sam Bennett to the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League.

Bennett, 18, has been on the shelf since October after undergoing shoulder surgery. Calgary’s fourth overall pick – their highest draft pick since moving from Atlanta – had been superb in training camp despite the malady, particularly in a handful of pre-season games.

His last official game action in a game that counted was back on April 1, 2014 when the Frontenacs lost to Peterborough in the final game of the first round of the OHL playoffs. Bennett had 91 points in 57 games last season and was drafted as the top-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting. In short: the Flames got a pretty good hockey player.

I had thought the Flames may be tempted to place Bennett on a conditioning stint, but with the OHL playoffs looming, might as well get him back in action there. The Frontenacs are in seventh place in the OHL’s Eastern Conference, but they have some games in hand. With Bennett at 100% – knock on wood – his return should allow them to solidify their playoff standing a bit.

Kingston plays tonight in Oshawa against Hunter Smith and the Generals, and then on Sunday at home in Kingston against the Saginaw Spirit. I’d suspect he suits up on Sunday based on travel.

  • Colin.S

    This is probably one of the smartest moves FLames management will make all year. Throwing a kid into the NHL at game 60 and in a playoff race isn’t a smart way to start out a kids NHL career, especially coming off major surgery.

    The only disappointing thing is that Kingston probably won’t make the playoffs and Adirondack has an up hill climb as well, so he won’t be getting into a lot of games this year. Here’s to hoping that Adirondack can turn it around and put some points on the board and get into the playoffs and Bennett can get a ton of games.

    EDIT: Does anyone know when the OHL trade deadline is? Maybe he can get into playoffs that way.

    • The deadline has already come and gone, unfortunately.

      Would’ve been a great move by Gilmour to get anything he could for Bennett because he only has him for another 15-20 games or so anyways (pending a playoff run), then he’ll never see him again.

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      OHL trade deadline is long since past.

      I have a question for anyone. I understand Bennett was one of the younger prospects in his draft. Does this mean he will be like Klimchuk meaning it is either OHL or NHL again for him next year? (No AHL option)? If so, I assume he will be in the big show, but it would be nice if the A was at least an option.

      • Brent G.

        I’m no expert but believe you’re right. Next year I could see the Flames giving him a cup of coffee with the big club but play at least some OHL (maybe it’s my subconscious hope). I feel he should be eased back into the game. This year he will play

  • Colin.S

    Not sure they should be applauded that much for doing the obvious move, but we did have to sit through a lot of terrible ones the last decade so this is nice.

    Sure was bizzare to see the OHL playoff format and how only 4 teams don’t make it! Glad to see he will get to play some meaningful games this season.

  • Brent G.

    Moving him to Kingston where Killer can really use him is a good decision.

    I do not understand two of the teams below us not taking this kid. He can really move, has skill to burn, tenacity and is a real competitor.

    Calgary drafted real well during Feasters reign and if he reads these articles, a very well earned Thank You from myself and other supporters. His draft picks are all coming on gangbusters and we as a team have a great future ahead of us.

    Go Flames

    Garry T

  • WildfireOne

    Applause to Calgary management on 3 counts:
    1. Length of time to make this decision likely implies that careful consideration of all possible options was undertaken. No knee-jerk reactions is a good thing
    2. Common sense ruled the day, a decision based on the asset’s well-being and long-term development
    3. A decision completely opposite to what our northern neighbors would have (and historically) done, validates this approach in terms of sound asset management. Think Red Wings, not…uh, you know who.

  • RKD

    Best decision for Sam’s development. He will be in the lineup next season to provide that 1-2 punch down the middle with Monahan. Maybe have Poirier on his wing too!

  • RKD

    “ingston plays tonight in Oshawa against Hunter Smith and the Generals, and then on Sunday at home in Kingston against the Saginaw Spirit. I’d suspect he suits up on Sunday based on travel.”

    BT wants Kingston to ease him back on the team so he won’t be playing until Wednesday.

    Will SN broadcast any more games with Kingston???