Sam Bennett trade rumors
Will the Calgary Flames trade Sam Bennett?

Artemi Panarin interested in returning to the Blackhawks

The ScoreArtemi Panarin doesn’t appear to be opposed to the proposition of a Windy City reunion, as the superstar winger would seriously consider a return to the Chicago Blackhawks if he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 season.

Panarin told the Blue Jackets he’s not ready to sign an extension in Columbus, and the club reportedly began to test the market for him in June. The 26-year-old sniper also said he won’t negotiate once camp opens Sept. 13, so his future with the organization is largely up in the air at this point.

Panarin has one more season remaining at $6 million before he hits the open market, where he’s sure to have a litany of suitors.

Is it time for the Calgary Flames to trade Sam Bennett?

Remember Sam Bennett? The fourth overall pick in 2014 was able to turn heads by putting up 18 goals and 18 assists in his rookie year, but since then he’s failed to make an impact with the Calgary Flames. Used in a third-line role, Bennett has experienced trouble climbing the Calgary depth chart and his progress seems to have stagnated. Now, in the back-end of his two-year deal, Bennett may find himself on the move if he can’t create a spark with the Flames.

Teams would be willing to take a chance on Bennett, a forward who can play both centre and the wing. He’s young enough and talented enough that a breakout season is possible, but he may not find it in Calgary. The Flames are offensively stacked, and with pressure on the team as a whole to succeed, Bennett may not be given time to prove he’s capable of more responsibility. A rebuilding team, however, could still see the upside in the Ontario native. If Flames GM Brad Treliving gets a good offer on the young forward, he could realistically take it just to get back assets lost in previous blockbusters that never paid off. Barring a resurgence under new coach Bill Peters, look for Bennett’s name to make its rounds in the rumor mill once trade season starts up.


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