It’s a bit of a slow-news day in the Calgary Flames world, as the hometown hockey team awaits Game 3 in the ‘Dome tomorrow night against the Anaheim Ducks.
But we do have a handful of minor notes, starting off with a larger one regarding Sam Bennett.
#Flames head coach Bob Hartley confirms that rookie Sam Bennett will play his 10th NHL game tomorrow. No surprise, can’t take him out.
— Wes Gilbertson (@SUNGilbertson) May 4, 2015
Bennett’s entry-level level contract will officially begin to run after tomorrow night’s game, as the 18-year-old will have played 10 games in this season and thus, his deal won’t slide. Instead of being a three-year deal running from 2015-18, it’ll now be a three-year deal that ends following the 2016-17 season.
It’s not a huge deal right now, given that Calgary has no real high-end forward depth and tons of money, cap space and contract room, but it could have implications down the line given the Flames will have one less super-cheap year for the former OHL star.
-Elsewhere, the finals for the three Canadian major-junior leagues have been set. In Flames-relevant news, Flames pick Hunter Smith will begin trying to crush Connor McDavid (likely of the Oilers) a bit early, as his Oshawa Generals take on McDavid’s Erie Otters for a berth in the Memorial Cup. Morgan Klimchuk, Eric Roy and the Brandon Wheat Kings will take on the hot-shot Kelowna Rockets in the WHL Championship series.
-And finally, reports out of Russia (via Elite Prospects) are that Flames pick Rushan Rafikov has signed a two-year deal with his KHL rights-holder, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. That deal runs through 2016-17. I believe under the terms of the CBA, the Flames retain his rights until 2017 (e.g., four years after his initial drafting since he’s a European prospect), so I doubt anything has really changed regarding his development. Former Flames coach Dave King is coaching Lokomotiv right now, and the Stockton Heat are already well-stocked with defenders even if they don’t bring back any free agents.