Panthers continue to bulk up with Sam Bennett acquisition

The Florida Panthers have added another reinforcement for their postseason charge.

Florida have acquired forward Sam Bennett from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a second-round draft selection and second-round prospect Emil Heineman.

Bennett, a fourth-overall draft selection in 2014, has lost his way in Calgary. Relegated to fourth-line and support duties, Bennett has just four goals and 12 points in 38 games this season.

For his career, Bennett has 67 goals and 140 points in 402 games.

Bennett is a restricted free agent at the end of the season, which contributes to a market value that compares to what the Buffalo Sabres fetched from the Boston Bruins for the expiring contract of Taylor Hall.

The most obvious redeeming quality from Bennett is the fact that he's consistently provided (or at least provided in his limited opportunities) strong postseason form. Bennett has routinely been a standout in the playoffs for Calgary despite the team's failure to advance past the first round since his rookie season.

Sam Bennett will get a fresh start in Florida. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Sam Bennett will get a fresh start in Florida. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

It's possible that Bennett receives a sizeable role in Sunrise, with the inexperienced Mason Marchment — who shares a similar skillset to Bennett — holding down a top-line role with Aleksander Barkov at present time.

The Bennett acquisition is just another move from rookie general manager Bill Zito, who continues to put his positive stamp on the organization. Since his hiring in September, Zito has brought in the likes of Patric Hornqvist, Radko Gudas, Carter Verhaeghe, Alexander Wennberg, Anthony Duclair, Noah Juulsen and, in the lead-up to the deadline, Brandon Montour and now Bennett.

Florida is one of the surprise teams this season, fighting tooth and nail for the Central Division title with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes.

Tampa was active at the deadline, bringing in defenseman David Savard, while the Hurricanes stood pat.

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