Reading Sam Bennett's comments, we understand why he wanted to leave Calgary

Published August 21, 2021 at 7:45 PM

Acquired from the Flames for a second round pick and a prospect, forward Sam Bennett seems to be living the good life in Florida. In an interview with "The Hockey News", the 25-year-old center was full of praise for his new head coach.

"A coach like Quenneville who believes in you puts you in a good position to succeed. It's unbelievable, I couldn't be happier to be under 'Q'.

It was after a rough start to the season that the Flames decided to trade their former fourth overall pick in 2014. Bennett had only 12 points in 38 games in Calgary. But he had quite the finish to the season in his new uniform, putting up 15 points in 10 games with the Panthers.

"I knew I had a lot more to offer and show as a player. I think I could do a lot more than I did in Calgary. Sometimes all it takes is a change, a general manager and a coach who believe in you," he said, flaying the Flames in the process.

It's true to say that Bennett didn't live up to expectations with the Flames. In fact, he never reached the 40-point plateau while his best was 36 in his rookie season in 2015-2016.

"The opportunity to play for the Panthers is huge. I get to play with great players who help me improve my game. All of that put together makes the confidence level rise quickly. I think that's a recipe for success."

Bennett, who played center on the Panthers' second line last year, also did well in the playoffs, as he added five points in five games. He has seen his responsibilities increase overnight as his playing time has gone from 12 minutes to 18 minutes since the trade that brought him to Florida.

The end of the season rewarded him as Bennett signed a four-year deal with the Panthers. The deal will pay him an average of $4.425 million per year. The Panthers will be watching this season as they also added Sam Reinhart to their top 6 offense.
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