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Treliving would be ‘shocked’ if Bennett sticks with Flames in 14-15

Sep 2, 2014, 9:23 PM EDT

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Sam Bennett has a lot of potential and Calgary obviously believes in him after selecting him with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but Flames GM Brad Treliving thinks it will take some time before the 18-year-old forward’s ready for the NHL.

“There are a lot of guys who can play in the league. But [the real questions are] can you help the team, and is it good for you?” Treliving asked, per Sportsnet. “I would be shocked [if Bennett sticks]. He will have to come in here and show beyond a shadow of a doubt that, not only is he ready to be here, but this is what’s best for him.”

Treliving isn’t singling out Bennett though as he’s equally measured in his expectations of top prospect Johnny Gaudreau.

“I’m not down on Johnny Gaudreau at all. We’re dying for ability,” Treliving said. “But we’ve seen it here before, where it’s, ‘Here’s the saviour.’ The expectation for me is… playing in the American League is hard. Stepping right in from the college to the NHL? Very few do it.”

Gaudreau is the reigning Hobey Baker winner, but questions have been raised about his ability to produce in the NHL given his height.

This could be Treliving’s way of trying to reduce the pressure on Calgary’s top prospects, but it also sounds like he wants to guard against rushing the young forwards.

  1. lowenni - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    While I agree it’s certainly a longshot Bennett makes the roster, I don’t think that was the nicest way to put it. Not saying professional athletes need to be talked to like children, but I think a more professional way of putting it would have been, “Bennett is probably a longshot to make the team, but we’re looking forward to him coming into camp and seeing how he performs.” To say he’d be shocked is almost a knock on his ability. As a hockey player, while certainly not professional obviously, I’m all for coaches or staff being behind a player and voicing support for potential.

    As for Gaudreau, he’ll make the team. He scored a goal in his first game and he absolutely tore it up at the World Championships, playing with men, and really good competition. The kid oozes so much talent and vision and potential and even with his size, I don’t see how he won’t make this roster.

    • beergold - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:58 AM

      Gaudreau another Martin St. Louis perhaps……lets hope!

  2. 19to77 - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Not much to see here, really. Most GMs with a shiny new top-10 draft pick have to do this before training camp starts so the fanbase isn’t overly disappointed when he doesn’t make the NHL immediately. Standard procedure. Unless you’re the GM of the Oilers, in which case by this point you’re working to sign him to a long-term contract with a no-trade clause.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:35 PM

      Bingo, this was Treliving going out of his way to say that the team won’t just hand positions to these players, the players will have to come in and earn their spots. If Bennett comes in and proves that he’s one of the Flames top 2 centres and can play in the top 6 forwards then he’ll stick, but they won’t keep him this year if he’s not going to be playing valuable minutes. Same with Gaudreau, there’s no point in keeping him here if he’s the 10th forward, they’d rather have him in Adirondack playing top line minutes then being on the 3rd line getting 13 minutes a game.

  3. 19inarow - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    I’d bet he can do a pull-up, by now.

    • 19inarow - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:35 PM

      But I do with him and all Flames fans a good season (except if you’re hoping for McEichel…I remember the ’08-09 season when I was hoping for Tavares).

      • 19inarow - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:37 PM

        *wish*. I don’t do anything with him. Doh!

  4. quinner17 - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    No need to rush the young guns, this is going to be a long rebuild. Might as well do it right, take the time and not have another Edmonton situation.

  5. beergold - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:04 AM

    Mr. Burke has learned his lesson from his time in TO and won’t be annointing any new “saviours” for this franchise any time soon. He annointed Kessel and Phaneuf in TO and look how that is turning out! (and they weren’t rookies either)

  6. tjvalley - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    Being an islander fan and going through a thousand year rebuild…I would def say to be patient with the kids. It’s better in the long run by far. And I’m not just talkin about current crop, the milbury era yielded traded players that are either on there way to the hall of fame or finishing excellent careers. So have patience. It’s worth it.

  7. luz56 - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    It all comes down to training camp … Some kids can play and other go thru the motions…every level gets tougher..I’m hoping for a top 3 pick then come out if the gates swinging in 2016…

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