Flames send resurgent Sam Bennett to Panthers on deadline day
Forward has 5 points over 5-game stretch after reported trade request from agent
The Calgary Flames jettisoned the highest draft pick in team history when Sam Bennett was dealt to the Florida Panthers on Monday.
Calgary drafted Bennett fourth overall in 2014 mere weeks after Brad Treliving was hired as Flames general manager.
"He's a real good kid, but you also have to make business decisions," Treliving said on a media conference call Monday.
Heineman was a second-round pick of the Panthers last year. The 19-year-old winger has seven goals and six assists in 43 games this season for Leksand in the Swedish Elite League.
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Bennett was the second player to leave Calgary in the hours before Monday's trade deadline.
Treliving also dealt goaltender David Rittich to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a second-round pick.
'We're not throwing the towel in'
Calgary (17-21-3) was six points out of the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division with 15 games remaining heading into Monday night's play.
"We felt we got real good return, but we're not throwing the towel in on the year," Treliving said.
"I'm not about to do autopsies on the corpse here. We've got lots of hockey left to go.
"We felt if we were going to make these moves, those moves wouldn't be available to us beyond today.
"I wouldn't necessarily define it as you're just buying, you're just selling. I had a hand in both pools here today. This is what transpired."
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Bennett, who is headed for restricted free agency this summer, would likely have been exposed in the expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken.
The six-foot-one, 195-pound forward compiled 67 goals and 73 assists in 402 games for the Flames, and had four goals and eight assists in 38 games this year.
Bennett had five goals and three assists in 10 playoff games for the Flames last summer.
His agent indicated in January that Bennett was unhappy with his situation in Calgary.
Bennett recently said he was happier since the Flames hired head coach Darryl Sutter in early March.
"I think if you could do things over in life, I know I've probably got a few re-dos out there. Probably everybody does. It probably could have been handled a little bit differently. I don't put that on Sam."
Bennett played both centre and wing for the Flames, but wasn't able to garner sustained time among Calgary's top six forwards over seven seasons.
His most productive season was his second with 18 goals and 18 assists in 77 games.