CALGARY, AB -- Though Group ‘B’ took a 2-0 decision over Group ‘A’ in the first scrimmage of development camp, the focus for Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving was less on the result and more about getting a better understanding of what he has.
“A lot of it is just sorting through the names and getting a feel for guys,” Treliving said following the exhibition. “Not a whole lot, at the end of the day. You get a little flavour for what guys can do in their game, but lets not get too excited in the first week of July here. We’ve got a lot of summer left.
“I think it’s always nice to see the guys out on the ice (but) keep it all in the proper context.”
Sam Bennett and Brandon Denham scored from Group 'B' in the victory while Johnny Gaudreau recorded two assists. Duo Doug Carr and Corbin Boes combined for the shutout.
The buzz following the game fell on the combination of Bennett and Gaudreau, though.
In their first game-like action together, pair left an impression.
“It’s exciting to see those guys,” Treliving said. “Obviously a lot has been talked about with Johnny with what he’s done in college and what he did at the World Championship. It’s nice for fans to get a little glimpse of him.
"And for Sam…we are excited about these players but lets keep it in context what time of the year it is.
“They’re getting familiar with our surroundings. It’s great to see them but in a week’s time it will all be forgotten and we’re wait until training camp and that will be a better barometer of where everybody’s at.”
Though Treliving downplayed the duo's chemistry, combining the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner with the fourth overall pick from the 2014 NHL Draft gave fans in attendance a glimpse into the potential of the Flames future.
And for Benentt, his first opportunity to work with Gaudreau was special.
“He’s an unbelievable player,” the 18-year-old said. “He set me up nice on the power play there. Any chance that I get to play with a player of that caliber is pretty special. He’s got unbelievable vision and he’s a smart hockey player. When you combine those two, you get a really special hockey player.
“His skill-set, it blows me away.”
DIALING IT DOWN
While skill was certainly well served in Monday’s scrimmage, the physicality was toned back by design.
“What our message to them today was we don’t need any silly things,” Treliving said. “There are lots of time for guys to be back here to show how strong and tough and all those things they are when we play people with different jerseys on. We want them to work.
"The coaches have been working with them on a lot of detail stuff so we wanted to see how that transfers over into a game, and show us your skill level. Show us what you can do. Show us how you think.”
Still, there was no lack of competitiveness on the ice in the scrimmage, which featured three 14-minute periods followed by a full-on shootout.
“Everyone here is competitive,” Bill Arnold said. “At the end of the day, we’re teammates but we’re all fighting for the same goal -- to make a team. There’s definitely some hits out there. There was no chippiness, no guys running or anything, which is good, but there’s definitely guys going at it, working hard and trying to make a name for themselves.”
BOSTON COLLEGE BATTLE
Not only did Monday’s scrimmage serve as an introduction to Bennett for Gaudreau, it also gave the 20-year-old standout his first opportunity to skate opposite Arnold -- his Boston College teammate.
“Definitely weird,” said Gaudreau, who played three seasons alongside Arnold. “It’s weird to see him on the ice when we’re on different lines. I just want to give him the puck when I see him out there. The jerseys help me out there. Hopefully we get to play with each other again pretty soon.”
Arnold would be just fine with that.
“I’d definitely rather play with him than against him,” he said. “He’s shifty for sure. I got him down in the corner a little bit. He tries to spin off, but I let him know I was there, for sure.”
Both will compete for roster spots when main camp hits in September.
The lines for Group ‘A’ in Monday’s scrimmage were as follows:
Bryce Van Brabant - Lukas Zejdl - Adam Chapie
Scott Allen - Damian Bourne - Brendan Bell
Allan Caron - Ryan Culkin
Keegan Kanzig - Jason Fram
John Gilmour - Brandon Hickey
The lines for Group ‘B’ in Monday’s scrimmage were as follows:
David Wolf - Grayson Downing - Hunter Smith
Kenny Agostino - Casey Bailey - Brandon Denham.
Chris Dienes - Zach Tolkinen
Development camp continues Tuesday when Group ‘A’ hits the ice at 10 a.m. at WinSport. Group ‘B’ will follow at 11:30 a.m.
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