Well, we all knew this day would come eventually. The Calgary Flames have traded away their highest ever draft pick, Sam Bennett. Drafted 4th overall in the 2014 NHL entry draft, Bennett made his NHL playoff debut in the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs when the Flames opened the postseason against the Canucks. From that point on, Sam had been a mainstay on the Flames roster. Whether he was mishandled by the organization or not, Sam never seemed to find his footing in the lineup. When the playoffs rolled around though, that was an entirely different story. Sam always found another gear when the games mattered, and that is why he fetched such a high return at the 2021 trade deadline (2022 2nd round pick and prospect Emil Heineman).
Despite his struggles, fans fell in love with Sam’s hard hitting style, and his trademark ‘stache, a tribute to Flames legend Lanny McDonald. While many fans had given up on him, myself and some others still believed in him right until the end (despite the Twitter verse mocking us). In fact, early in my Flames Twitter run, I would occasionally write little pep talks for Sam on my account to cheer him up when the times were tough. I don’t know if he ever saw them, but I just felt like he needed to see that there was someone in his corner, rooting him on no matter what.
And so, I bid adieu to one of my favourite Flames, Sam Bennett. Best of luck in Florida Sammy, and thank you for the memories!