Bennett, 24, will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season. He currently has a cap hit of $2.55 million. The forward has struggled at times over the course of his Calgary tenure, and his desire for a change of scenery has been well documented this season. He’ll get that — and an opportunity for a long playoff run — in Florida under head coach Joel Quenneville as the Panthers add reinforcements.
Sitting outside the playoffs after spending in free agency, things simply have not worked in Calgary. And while Flames GM Brad Treliving hinted that his roster reconstruction would be a task for the off-season, he capitalized on a return for a pending RFA. In addition to a second-round draft pick in 2022, the Flames also receive Heineman. The Swedish winger was selected in the second round (43rd overall) by Florida in 2020. Known for being a versatile forward, Heineman is currently playing for Leksands IF of the SHL, where he tallied seven goals and 13 points in 43 games in his first full season there. He’s also suited up for Sweden’s junior national team, most recently playing at the 2020-21 world juniors.
Bennett has played his best hockey in the post-season, where his ability to liven things up in a checking role and contribute offensively has often been on full display as one of the Flames’ best post-season performers. With the Panthers’ skilled top-six, it’s likely he’d fill a bottom-six role either at centre or on the wing.
Over the weekend, Florida also brought in help on the blue line by trading for Buffalo Sabres defenceman Brandon Montour. The club also traded for Lucas Wallmark and Lucas Carlsson last week.