Flames to burn 1st year of Bennett's contract so he can play Game 3 vs. Ducks

Bruce Fedyck / USA TODAY Sports

Sam Bennett will be inserted into the Calgary Flames' Game 3 lineup against the Anaheim Ducks.

The game will be Bennett's 10th of the season, meaning the Flames will burn the first season of his three-year, entry-level contract.

The NHL's collective bargaining agreement only allows a team nine games to evaluate players on entry-level deals before the first season kicks in.

"Contracts don't matter to us," Flames coach Bob Hartley said Monday. "We're a pro organization, a very classy organization, and never have I had a conversation with (general manager) Brad Treliving or (president of hockey operations) Brian Burke about the contract of Sam Bennett. They always allow me to play the players that we feel will help us win.

"Sam Bennett will be in the lineup (Tuesday)."

The youngster has had an interesting road to the NHL.

He began the season in training camp with the Flames, injured his shoulder - which required surgery - and didn't make his debut until the final game of the regular season.

Since being inserted into the team's lineup, the fourth overall pick from the 2014 draft has been an extra weapon for Calgary, recording four points in eight games and even moving to the top line in Game 2.

To say the former Kingston Frontenac is excited about how things are going so far would be an understatement.

"I definitely wasn't expecting this but the way my year has gone, I think anything could happen," Bennett said. "I wasn't expecting it but this is one of the most exciting ways to start your career. It's been unbelievable. It's been so exciting. At the beginning, I was so nervous and not knowing what to expect. But now, I feel completely comfortable playing in a Stanley Cup playoff game. 

"It's amazing how far I've come in a month and I'm just looking forward to the upcoming games."

Flames to burn 1st year of Bennett's contract so he can play Game 3 vs. Ducks
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