203
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports

Flames re-sign Sam Bennett to two-year deal

The offseason grocery list is done, and we can now live stress free: the Flames have re-signed Sam Bennett, the final RFA of the 2017 offseason, to a two-year, $1.95M AAV contract.

Although the highest ever pick in Flames history, Bennett has yet to live up to the hype. His first NHL season was derailed by shoulder surgery, his second featured him playing on the wing, and his third was filled with struggles.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

There have been many times that Bennett has shown flashes of brilliance, but there are still many doubts. With this deal, the Flames give him a bit more time to prove himself and grow while keeping the dollar amount low. Though they take the risk of having to shell out major bucks in two years’ time when Bennett is arbitration eligible, this is a great deal for the time being.

The center is taking a very, very team-friendly deal. Headed into the season, the Flames will have $5.2M in cap room left with two forward spots and a defender spot still open. While those all could be solved by the cheap depth available in Stockton (many have already penciled them in), the Flames do retain the option of signing a UFA or two looking for a job. We have a name in mind already.

Post will be updated depending on new information.


  • kipper2004

    Having the 5 mil cap space could be valuable for situations where teams in cap hell (ie. Detroit) could come calling, that Athanasiou would look good speeding down the wing! Even though he is a lefty, i like the idea of young speed that can score, do it BT!

          • Jumping Jack Flash

            @Oilerchild77

            People recognize a good season but only the Oilers bank on it being the norm instead of the exception and overpay. Johnny had a great season prior to his new contract but Tree refused to overpay based on the sample size. Johnny had more points than all but 6 other players in 15/16 so he must have been better tha all those players including Drysaitle.

            There is a reason that players are evaluated on years of playing… It is likely the reason the HOF basis its nominations on a large body of work. Draisaitle has had 1 great season and an average season. Johnny has had 1 great season and 2 good seasons. Bennett has had a decent rookie year and a disappointing second season…lots of hockey left to carve out a career.

          • Oilerchild77

            That’s not how hockey works anymore. Players aren’t paid for what they’ve done in the past, they’re paid for what they’re projected to do in the future. Gudreau had two excellent seasons before signing his big deal, but he was also only 23 years old and was going to be around a while.

            Now, look at Draisaitl, he also had two very good years, particularly last season. And he’s only 21 (22 by the start of this season), so he’s going to be around a while. He was lights out in the playoffs playing without McDavid, which says a lot. Also, he’s a center with size and strength, which is worth more than a smallish winger (nothing against Geadreau, who is one of my favorite players). Look, only time will tell if Drai can repeat that success, but I think he can and Drai’s deal will bear out ok in the end.

          • TriPPiNvdUb

            And who exactly created this trend of paying for projection over production? Just because Edmonton wants to continue making the same old mistakes doesn’t mean the Flames will follow. Tre has shown he won’t be roped into playing that game. Meanwhile Chia is sitting in Edmonton, going through Klowes playbook and using the same strategy that ruined the first rebuild. Only difference is that he has a get out of jail free card in McDonkey

      • Anonymoustrollpolice

        I wonder if drai is making 4 times as much as Bennett because he is 4 times the player!! Comparing a first line point getter to a 3rd 4th line producer lol flames logic. He did get 4 times as many points in the playoffs as Bennett 🙂
        26 points in an entire season Wowwwww LOL Drai had 77….. 93 points including the playoffs!! Haha. Chiarelli grinning for sure this morning.

        • Mr. J

          What’s next Walt… Your going to say you wouldn’t trade those 4 guys for Drai??? LOL I think walt is exuding just a biiiiitttttttt of jealousy in regards to
          the kind of talent they have up north lol who puts Lazar, Versteeg and Bennett and Draisaitl in the same
          Sentence. Good one Walt.

    • OYYC

      No incentive now to keep Bennett and ‘that guy’ together for half a season. Bennett’s contract suppression assignment completed. Time to give the youngster some good linemates, and extra powerplay time.

  • oilcanboyd

    A one-year contract would have put more pressure on Sam to succeed this season. Good or bad?
    Hope he has a great season for the Flames and Tre could start re-negotiating a new contract sooner next time around.

  • Master_Defenestrator

    With Tkachuk, Bennett, and Ferland all having their contracts end at the same time, I can see Tre trading a defenceman and buying out Brouwer two summers from now.

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      Agreed. Consider also that all current buyouts will have expired, Stajan will have expired and Mike Smith will have expired. If Parsons lives up to expectations he will be on the last year of his ELC when those three need new contracts.

  • The GREAT WW

    If you add up Bennett, Ferland, Lazar and Versteeg salaries you still end up 1.3 Million under Drysaddle’s contract.
    Plenty of room to add Jankowski or Foo and you are still under 8.5 Million…..

    WW

    • OYYC

      Good news, Walter! The first 4 roster players only add up to 6.4 million. You can add Jankowski and Foo and still have 250K left in your shorts. Six players for the price of one.

        • OYYC

          Still not exactly sure how the Oilers are going to pull it off. When you have two guys making a huge money, you had better have value contracts all over the place plus a very deep pipeline of prospects that can fill in at low dollars. To me, they don’t have either.

          • BendingCorners

            For fun I went through the exercise on CapFriendly (super handy site). I assumed some players on expiring contracts would be replaced next year with equivalent salaries and some others would get raises. Then I added 3MM to the cap. And it all fit. They might need to trade RNH if Peter goes nuts handing out big raises (probability greater than zero, he is no BT) but otherwise can probably keep their core and add or swap minor pieces for at least one more year and maybe two more years. Won’t matter, the Flames will beat them anyway.

          • OYYC

            @BendingCorners. I’ve looked at that team a lot as well. This year they will be fine cap wise obviously. But starting next year, nobody figures to be getting a raise, and that’s with RNH out the door on a salary dump. Talbot only has a couple of years left at 4.16M as well, he’ll be wanting a big raise if he keeps it up.

          • BendingCorners

            I’d send you my spreadsheet but that isn’t allowed on here. The wrinkle for 2018-2019 will be Jesse’s performance bonus. It may need to be carried over to the following year even if the cap goes up to 78MM.
            You’re right about their pipeline. But value contracts are always out there – guys trying to come back from Europe, older guys looking for one more year, and so on.

          • The GREAT WW

            That is unbelievable: Bennett, Ferland, Versteeg, Lazar, Jankowski and Foo for LESS than Drysaddle?!

            What a massive overpay!!!!!!!

            Now they have to keep him on the McDavid line to inflate his points to justify his salary….

            WW

          • OYYC

            @Walter. Here’s another thing as well. All of those 6 contracts can be moved if need be, because of the short term and low dollars. There would be multiple teams interested in swinging a deal. The Flames have one horrible unmovable contract, and one overpay that is coming off the books next year.

            In Oilerland, what happens if Draisaitl “only” gets 70 points next year? Congratulations, you’ve got an unmovable contract on your hands. Lucic’s deal is in the unmovable territory already, Sekera is getting paid too much, and the Oilers couldn’t give away Russell’s contract. RNH’s deal can still be moved at a big discount, but all of those deals have at least 4 years of term left on them.

            In a salary cap situation you have to be able to stay nimble, and get in and out of contracts as need be. When you have 4 big contracts that nobody will want, then you’ve got your team into a real mess. As Treliving quite rightly said, “The term is the noose.”

          • Mr. J

            Walt are you listening to yourself???comparing 4th line guys and now even Jank and foo who have yet to make an NHL team to top 10 point getter Leon.

            Ok let me try this and tell me how silly i sound.

          • Mr. J

            Washington Capitals 3rd and 4th line make as much as Penguins Sidney Crosby. Omg what a bunch of idiots they must be in Pittsburgh. Haha 6 players for the price of 1. Pens Gm should be fired. Washingtonian Gm should be nominated for GM of the year.

    • Anonymoustrollpolice

      Walts mad obsession with Leon is getting creepy… Or maybe just jealous!

      Bennett- 13 g, 13 a
      Lazar- 1 g, 2 a
      Ferland-15 g, 10, a
      Versteeg- 15 g, 22 a
      The Fantastic four totals- 44 g, 47 a, 91 points

      Leon Draisaitl totals- 29 g, 44 a, 77 points. 93 points including playoffs

      Nuff said. Walters logic lol that’s hilarious

  • TheRealPoc

    Pretty much the perfect bridge for both sides, reflects an equal amount of risk tolerance. Obviously the Brouwer deal isn’t pretty and you can argue Stone’s overpaid as a #5, but it’s really tough to fault Treliving on the way he’s structured this roster’s budget. Not a single AAV higher than $6.75M, no truly onerous term on the books either (aside from the aforementioned exceptions), and enough flexibility to remain open for internal promotions if merited. This is the most faith I’ve had in a front office of ours in a very long time and I’m very hopeful we’re about to turn the corner.

  • RKD

    Another steal by Tre, sizeable gap c’mon Dregs you are slipping now you got egg on your face. A very friendly deal, Sam needs to prove himself then he will get his big payday on a new CBA deal.

  • Off the wall

    Bennett should just fire his agent.

    Just read in several articles that Bennett said, “I had no intention of playing overseas,
    My mindset was to be in Calgary and prepared for training camp”

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I wonder if player usage was part of the negotiation. Bennett has a better chance of putting up numbers as a top 6 winger than a 3C which would lead to a bigger contract in 2 years.

    The organization likely sees more value in developing him as a Center. Bennett brings more value as a Center perhaps not a 3C. Now if Bennett suddenly had Tkachuk on his line along with a skilled winger like Versteeg…maybe Lazar, then he might be the new 2C.

  • SeanCharles

    IMO the capspace will not be overly useful to us come the trade deadline as we don’t have many draft picks, in the next two years, to use as currency to buy. It would be wise to attain a free asset (outside of $) right now since we could also use another depth winger and we don’t want to give up ore picks.

    It makes too much sense to bring in a FA and our trade deadline additions can be youngsters on the farm who develop throughout the year (Foo, Mangiapane etc.).

  • Eggs Bennett

    There is plenty of opportunity for Bennett to get decent ice time and add value for the Flames. No need to talk about 1C, 2C, 3C… Last I checked, Pittsburg’s monster 3-line combo has gotten them 2 cups since it spreads out opposing teams’ defence and gave Crosby and Malkin more time to rest and have effective minutes. If we see a breakout season from Bennett with proper linemates, we will have the foundations of an elite top 9.

  • Eggs Bennett

    All right guys I’ll be eating crow tonight… previously predicted Bennett will outscote Draisaitl at a third of the cap hit this year. Looks like he will be doing it for a quarter instead…

  • freethe flames

    I have said many times that I see Bennett’s development as similar to Backlund’s although Bennett has a higher ceiling than Backlund. Is this the year that Bennett develops significantly I hope so. Playing with the right guys would help as well as would proper deployment but he needs to earn this and prove that his game is improving. Earn your job. I have suggested for a long time that I would love to see the sandwich line and(BLT)or instead I would be happy with BVT(Does not have the same ring).

    • Newbietwo

      Same as Backlunds? What are you talking about Bennett just turned 21 in June! Bennett will end up being way better than Backlund over his career and will be that within two years at 23