On Episode 2 of the MLHS podcast, Ian Tulloch and Anthony Petrielli debated the potential fit of Calgary Flames winger Sam Bennett as a trade target for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the possibility of moving Travis Dermott.
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Ian Tulloch: The name Sam Bennett — we have been seeing it a lot lately. I don’t want to see Sam Bennett in a Leafs uniform. Do you?
Anthony Petrielli: At the right price, I would consider it. Basically, he has looked really good in the playoffs. I know Marc Bergevin always has the quote — and Elliotte Friedman always quotes this — that some guys get you there and some guys get you through.
Tulloch: Hey, Ville Leino helps get you through the playoffs. That’s why you pay big for playoff performance instead of when a guy shows you he is not a good player over a large sample in the regular season /s.
Petrielli: Can we definitively say Sam Bennett is not a good player?
Tulloch: I mean, he is an NHL player. Is he an above-average NHL player? No. Is he a third liner? What is he?
Petrielli: Yeah, but we talked about Kerfoot. He is making a million dollars more a year and he is two years older than him. He hasn’t really shown much in any critical game. At least Sam Bennett is a little bit younger, a little bit cheaper, and has shown up in the odd big game. I would probably like him better as a left-wing option than Kerfoot.
Tulloch: I don’t see much difference between a Sam Bennett and a Jimmy Vesey just in terms of them producing at about the same rate throughout their careers, they’re underwhelming in that they were supposed to be much better offensively than they ended up being. Now, we aren’t really sure what they are or where they should play in an NHL lineup.
You see some offensive talent, but they are not good enough defensively for you to trust them against the other team’s best players. The fact that he is making $2.25 million, the Leafs are tight up against the cap, and if we are talking about guys who are efficient on their contracts, that is not an efficient contract, for my money.
Petrielli: I only think you could justify it around a Kerfoot deal where they are actually saving money and opening up for something else in addition to Sam Bennett — i.e., “Let’s quasi-trade players here and open up a little cap along the way.”
I like Travis Dermott. He has always shown well when they have given him real opportunity and real ice time. I don’t like him as a third-pairing guy. I don’t think he is good in a role where he is playing fewer than 16 minutes a night, but we have seen when he has moved up when they have injuries, he looks good, such as when everyone was injured last year and he went to the top pairing with Justin Holl.