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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Flames and Sam Bennett are not close on a deal

There’s a bit of news regarding the Calgary Flames’ negotiations with restricted free agent forward Sam Bennett… and it’s not great. According to a report from TSN’s Darren Dreger, the two sides are not close on a deal right now.

Bennett is in a unique position in two ways. First, he’s coming out of his entry level deal with two full seasons in the National Hockey League and zero time spent in the minors. Second, he’s only got two years of NHL experience and if you look at some of his comparable players in terms of experience, age and production the comparisons are close but they’re not perfect.

And the comparisons, money-wise, aren’t amazing for Bennett from a negotiation standpoint.

The Bennett side probably began the summer hoping for a number close to three million, but deals like Faksa and Brown (over three years) and Andrighetto and Duclair (over shorter terms) have probably dragged the “market” down over the past couple months.

Main camp opens in roughly 10 days, so there’s still time to get a deal done without Bennett missing time. But the clock, as the saying goes, is ticking.



      • BlueMoonNigel

        Lazar should be grateful that he is ranked where he is on this club for all that he hasn’t done as a pro in Ottawa and here.

        He’ll probably get a longer leash in training camp than he deserves, but if has a sluggish camp, there are bodies that will move ahead of him. He had better just focus on hanging on to his spot and not covet big Sam’s.

  • Intercourse the Penguins

    I trust the Tree to make the best deal for calgary flames.Negotiating takes patience and time. It is because of some bad contracts that the hard-wood Tree is playing hard ball.He will do what is best for the team.

  • WillyWonka

    People think that Sam’s agent’s comments about playing overseas are nothing more than posturing. But I say look at our Captain, Mark Giordano, who went overseas to play when he didn’t get the contract he wanted. I wouldn’t be so quick to downplay the possibility.

    • Skylardog

      Going overseas may make sense for Bennett. Misuse last year has cost the kid Millions of dollars. Playing with plugs like Brouwer killed his earning potential.
      All this I blame completely on GG. All of the young studs except for Tkachuk struggled for big parts of the season and played well below their potential. Tkachuk benefitted from the Backlund bump, but in my opinion was a better player at game 20 than he was at game 82. Ferly should be the most pissed off for his misuse, especially in the playoffs.
      If Mony and JG were looking for deals this summer we would be talking in the $4 to $5 million range, not the mid to high $6s they got last summer.
      Only a few players excelled last season – Gio played well, but not early, Backs and Frolik, because they were used correctly, and Tkachuk because of the bump from Backs. Other than that, the rest struggled, including D. Hamilton, who would have had a brutal year except he ended up with Gio, and then didn’t kill penalties or get 1st team PP time. Go down the list and tell me who had great seasons outside of the 4 guys. Elliott and Johnson were casualties of the GG disaster too.

      The more I watch the more I think Bennett should be asking for a trade. And I think under the right coach, he is a top line forward.

        • Skylardog

          Term is the difference, and being an RFA vs a UFA.

          If I was Ferly I would have been playing hardball, but he is a man committed to the Flames, after all, they stood by him. But if he sits on the PP and Brouwer goes out with Mony and JG, how long before you start to do what is best for yourself?
          Mony and JG have deals, and are probably thanking the powers that be that they were negotiating last year. I am sure JG has a thought in the back of his head that he does need to go back east. Not saying he is thinking this year, but it is crossing his mind. If he put up 90 points, that thought never would have entered his head.

          Brodie, Hamilton, and Gio are signed long term. What would Brodie be looking at if he needed a deal this summer? Kulak is slated as a top 6 and just signed a near min deal as he had no leverage, yet he was a better dman than Bart last year, but couldn’t get icetime to prove it. He takes Barts spot for the last half of the season, what would he have signed for this summer?
          Others have left. Elliott and Johnson after disasters, and they likely are grateful to get out before any permanent damage is done to their careers (not sure they will recoup fully). Brouwer’s career is done after 1 season in this organization, Stajan will retire at the end of this contract, and frankly, he is a decent 3rd / 4th liner. Chaisson can’t get a deal, and he is a decent forward, better than some we have on the roster now.

          Last season was a disaster for proving your abilities if you took the ice in a Flames sweater. If you had a long term deal, you could weather it, if not, your potential earnings this year and beyond took a hit.

      • TheoForever

        Part 1 of the reason the team produced less offense is different style of game than the one employed by Hartley.
        Part 2 is that GG sucks. If you have offensive d-men use them more in the attack. GG is coming around on that.

        • Skylardog

          It will be interesting to see how Smith’s puck moving abilities fit into the GG scheme. Smith likes to move the puck up with long passes, while GG is against long passes and wants multiple short passes to get the puck out of the zone.

          • TheoForever

            Throughout the year I was wandering why GG would never use the stretch pass when it was clear other teams were cheating.
            One would think that keeping teams guessing would be a good idea.
            I hope he becomes more flexible, but GG refuses to play to his player’s strengths.

      • C Watson

        I hate the deals the Flames have made in free agency and have long advocated against them. Although Frolik is an exception (I still maintain his salary is a little too high), Brouwer’s deal has to challenge with Wideman’s as the worst.
        That being said, good players elevate the play of their inferior linemates. Mediocre players are dragged down by the play of their inferior linemates. Could it possibly be that in spite of the hype of being drafted fourth overall (dropping from a #1 rating) Bennett is just mediocre. Could it possibly be that the Flames actually were targeting Draisaitl who went to the Oilers at #3 and are slightly pissed at Bennett?

        • Skylardog

          At 20, the player needs support, not carrying deadweight. Only exceptions would be generational players like Crosby, Gretzky, McD etc. But then again those players will get top linemates. Put players in a situation where they can succeed and build confidence – right…

    • flames2015

      Gio was also a bubble player at the time floating a lot between the NHL and AHL. Bennett likely has no intentention for the KHL, and it was rather something the agent just said

    • BlueMoonNigel

      The NHL is not going to do an about-face on going to the ’18 Olympics, so Canada will have a national team manned by guys not in the NHL. Why not Sam?

      Sam gets Canada a big, shiny medal and then rejoins the Flames just in time the playoff run and a long run in the playoffs.

      Hell, a generation from now or even sooner, the average hockey fan will have forgotten about Sam’s contract dispute in 2017 with the Flames and just remember Sam as the guy who sacrificed a year of his pro career just so he could stand on guard for US!

        • BlueMoonNigel

          And your point is?

          If he signs on with the Nats, no way do the Flames try and mess with him and deny him his Olympic experience. They aren’t that stupid. They patiently wait until the Olympics are over.

          I think Toews explained it better than anybody when he said as raucous and nuts as Hawks’ fans were when they won their cups, it was nothing compared to the scene that took place in Vancouver in 2012 after Canada struck for gold. There is a huge difference between a city rooting for you and a nation that has hockey in its DNA cheering their guts out for you. Flames would not dare deny Sam this possible once in a lifetime shot.

          Bennett’s going to make more than his grandkids’ grandkids can ever spend playing NHL, but how many shots is he going to get at winning an Olympic gold or even to join such a prestigious event?

    • Danomitee

      Our Captain was looking for a 1-way deal and Darryl was pushing for 2-way. Not remotely the same thing. Bennett wants the opportunity to prove it in a “show me” contract, and I’d be pretty confident that Treliving is trying to sign him for 3 years at 3AAV or less so that his contract won’t overlap with Tkachuk’s. It’s just hardball, it won’t be as bad as Jony & Mony from last year.

    • cberg

      I believe Bennett going overseas may be the very best thing for both him and the Flames. Look, unless Bennett goes to 1RW or 2LW he is stuck at 3C for the foreseeable (+-5yrs) future, behind Monahan and Backlund. In that spot it is highly unlikely he will get the TOI or hard minutes exposure, nor the effective line mates needed to really prove what he can do. If he goes overseas and really kills it (and I mean REALLY kills it) he’ll come back with way more confidence and leverage to get a deal befitting his talents. It’ll also prove what those talents are. If he goes over and gets a great opportunity (a la Matthews last season) but doesn’t kill it, then ’nuff said, he’ll have to accept becoming one of the best 3C in the league.

    • Ludis Fanaticus

      I think things have changed sufficiently, with overseas options, that few players are going to go. The money isnt as great and if your leaving because you don’t like the term being offered, I think you would have to have the promise of a lot of dollars before risking injury, or an unsuccessful overseas campaign.

      PS. Great choice in Willy Wonka’s. Gene Wilder rules.

  • Emir

    Personally I think Sam still has to prove his with in the league. Didn’t have the best line mates at times but also needs to do more for himself. He should sign the bridge and get back on track.

    If he misses training camp I’d trade him simply because his year will be hampered slow start and lower his value. Plus I think it looks bad when he hasn’t accomplished much and is expecting bigger pay dollars. This team is starting to enter its window do you want to win or do you just want a cheque. Sam is really really good but if he isn’t signed by training camp he can pound sand.

    I’d also like to know how a year in Europe is going to boost his value.

    • TheoForever

      You cannot get full value for him, it would be like trading for pennies on the dollar. Gio left for Russia and returned.
      Tre said today that he expects to sign Bennett.

  • TheoForever

    Kristen Odland tweeted:
    Just spoke to #Flames GM Brad Treliving: “We’re not really focused on threats” & added he hopes to have something done before training camp.

  • oilcanboyd

    After Dredger tweeted the tweet about Bennett playing in Europe, he later said:
    @DarrenDreger
    Likelihood something gets done with the Flames.
    11:33 AM – Sep 5, 2017

  • Just.Visiting

    What he might do in the future is quite different than what he has done to date. I’m OK with overpaying a bit based on potential, to demonstrate the commitment to the player and faith that he can be playoff Sam. This is particularly the case when there are some real questions about the degree to which he has been used properly the past two years.

    That being said, it would be a huge mistake for Bennett and his agent to overplay his hand at this stage of his career in the eyes of management, the fans or other teams.

    While I think it might be a 10% overpay at the moment, I’m fine with two years at $2.5MM.

    Let’s find a way to make it happen, have him come in with a positive, confident frame and see him pick up where he left off in the playoffs.

  • RKD

    I’m confident Tre will get it done, don’t know if it will be a steal but Bennett has a lot to prove. He has a lot untapped potential, but untapped is the key word. If he can’t be a solid player winger or center than he isn’t worth big dough. Prove us wrong Benny and your next contract you will hit the jackpot.