FlamesNation Mailbag: Offseason sneak peek

Looking at the next offseason, the offseason after that, the previous offseason, everything in between, and our old pal Sam Bennett.

No, probably not. Curtis Lazar has 245 games of NHL experience. That’s a large enough sample to know what he is and what he’s likely going to be. Eighteen AHL games does not change that.

In those 245 games, Lazar proved that he was not much more than a replacement-level NHLer, but now he’s playing in a league where replacement-level NHLers are the best players in that league. That crucial context is important to his success. He’s not doing much different, he’s just playing against weaker competition.

Consider his shorthanded heroic game winner against San Diego. That play simply does not happen in the NHL. There’s some bad decision making, some extremely weak defensive efforts (aided by an unfortunate yet hilarious skating gaffe – which also probably doesn’t happen in the NHL), and some poor goaltending to boot. Again, he’s not facing the cream of the crop. We’ve seen many times before how dominant AHLers turn into meh (or worse) NHLers, and it is likely because of the difference in talent.

Yes, and no. He’s probably not a ~.950 SV% goalie forever, that’s for certain. This is not only because of regression to the mean, but also because he’s a guy who hasn’t seen much wear and tear over the last few seasons. He’s been a backup for the majority of his North American time, and European hockey leagues player a less rigorous schedule. As the games go on, I would certainly expect Rittich to start to falter, at least a little.

But is he the starter? Yes. There’s only one goalie on the roster (hell, probably the whole organization) who has proven that he can consistently stop over 91% of pucks headed his way. He’s not going to be the saviour forever, but if he puts you in the position to win games, that’s all the Flames need.

Depends if it’s 2020 or 2021. If it’s 2020, they have the luxury of going 7-3-1 (assuming the rules are the same). They can protect their core forwards (Gaudreau, Monahan, Tkachuk, Lindholm for starters) and even sneak an AHLer into the mix. What’s key is that TJ Brodie and Travis Hamonic will see their contracts expire in 2020, so they don’t need protecting. Juuso Valimaki will also be just outside of the eligibility requirements, so he doesn’t need protection. That leaves you with Mark Giordano, Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson, and Oliver Kylington who need protecting. I’d think Kylington might still be an unknown, so maybe Seattle avoids him. All in all, the Flames don’t have much of consequence to expose.

But if it’s 2021, there’s some issues. First off, Valimaki won’t be ineligible anymore, so now you have five defencemen that need protection. That could force the team to protect eight skaters in general, likely forcing Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund, and Mark Jankowski to be exposed. That might necessitate a trade to prevent Seattle from picking one of those players.

Assuming it’s 2020, Seattle might just do what Vegas did and select a Flames UFA in the face of a lot of other less intriguing options. If it’s 2021, they’re likely taking a forward. I’d say Bennett makes the most sense, as they’re likely following the Vegas path and selecting a misfit in need of redemption.

Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk are the Flames’ two best possession drives and have a noticeable impact on whoever is lucky enough to be their linemate. Right now, Bennett is getting that benefit. He’s picked up a handful of points since joining the line, but as always with Bennett, I think you have to be careful. Is he actually improved, or is he riding a hot streak? There’s a chance his performance levels drop off in the near future and he becomes a drag on that line again. For the time being, he’s fine. But I don’t think it’s a long-term solution.

Neal is a mixed bag. Sure, he’s a guy who needs some help getting his game along, but can he handle the defensive responsibilities that the Backlund-Tkachuk combo usually receives? He’s a goal scoring expert, not a goal preventing one. His underlying numbers suggest that he’s in line with the rest of his career in terms of shot generation, so I think the best thing to do is to leave him be and hope that the percentages switch in his favour.

However, my real preference is Austin Czarnik. The MMA line was fantastic when it was together and was just a few unlucky bounces away from still being together today. Czarnik is also an intriguing figure, and if you can springboard him to 30-40 points on that line, the Flames are playing with found money.

As for Frolik, I think that they’ll only reunite the 3M line in drastic situations when they need to shut down another mega-line. For the time being, Frolik has been a handy penalty killer and a boost to the bottom six. Moving him down is a benefit of excessive depth and not an indictment of his play.

I’m a big fan of Oliver Kylington but I don’t think he’s emerged to the point where he can take someone’s job, much less force a top pairing defender out of the way to do so. He’s still got a ways to go before he’s ready for NHL duty. Superb in the AHL so far? Yup. NHLer? Not yet.

However, it might happen out of necessity as…

Yup, they probably will.

As of this writing, the Flames have ~$800,000 in cap space. That’s impacted by having Kylington and Ryan Lomberg on the roster, but with them gone, that’s about $2.2M in cap. With the cap going up at least $2M this offseason, and with Mike Smith off the books, that’s about $8.4M freed up.

And that might be able to get you one Matthew Tkachuk. Maybe Brad Treliving works that down to a smaller number, but that’s pennies when you consider that you might have to re-sign your potential starter and a homegrown winger. Rittich doesn’t have the resume to get big money, but you feel that they’re going to twist the Flames’ arm because it’s not like they have any other options. I suppose $2Mx2 would work for him. Bennett is probably not going to get a drastic raise, but a raise nonetheless. Maybe just shy of $3M, provided that he doesn’t receive a Backlund Bump and gets overpaid.

So yes, there is going to be a cap crunch. Buying out Michael Stone is going to save you a bit of cash, but you’re probably still scraping by. Moving Brodie or Hamonic before their contracts expire is an option to consider. The Flames might be able to get a draft pick in return or a promising young player, which could alleviate their problems temporarily. Frolik is also another option to jettison for cap space, though I think the market is less hot on him.

From early returns, I think the gamble the Flames took is paying off for them. The entire thing was contingent on TJ Brodie returning to form alongside Giordano, which has happened. Hamonic-Hanifin has turned out to be a strong pairing too, which has helped solidify the team’s defence to the point where it’s acceptable for them to trot out an all-rookie pairing for the sake of it. Lindholm has also blossomed into a powerplay threat and a fine first line winger, when he could’ve been just another Micheal Ferland.

The Flames improved their first and second pairings as well as found an actual long-term top six right winger. There’s a million things that could’ve gone wrong and they thankfully haven’t. Let’s throw in an ominous “so far” though, as it is still a bit too early to decide who the winners will be, but it hasn’t been as disastrous for Calgary as once thought.

I think it’s Juuso so far. They’re honestly both around the same, but Andersson has been in the pros for three years whereas Juuso hasn’t. He’s been more defensively aware and his skating has been impressive. I want to see him get more minutes, to be honest.

  • Justthateasy

    Well you certainly closed the door on Curtis Lazar. You’ve certainly given us many examples. So that’s it then.
    Hasn’t he shown any dedication? What about maturity? Has he learned nothing?
    Was he ever given an AHL stepping stone opportunity before?
    I guess if these are all great observations and there are no answers, we might as well write him off then.

    • Well, if you would like elaboration:
      Since 2005-06, there have been 148 players who joined the league at age 19 (like Lazar) and played 245 NHL games (like Lazar). A few of them have been demoted to the AHL, but zero of them have come back to the NHL significantly different players. Simply put, it is extremely difficult for a player who has played a lot of NHL hockey to get better by playing against lesser talent. The AHL is a developmental league: it is meant to take players too good for their junior leagues and make them NHLers. It is not for fixing bad NHLers, hence why it’s never fixed bad NHLers. Lazar is not going to be better by getting AHL experience. That point has passed in his career. He’s 23 and has played just under 250 NHL games. He is what he is.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      I don’t necessarily believe that Lazar won’t be able to make it back to the NHL. He is doing better in the AHL than I expected however, I would argue that he has a disproportionate amount of special teams points which he likely doesn’t see in the NHL. Right now Czarnik has not shown that he has much more to offer than Lazar or Mangi. Czarnik has been gifted some 2nd line minutes and PP time that Mangi never saw. I think Czarnik needs a coach that would give him a longer leash and maybe he would find his offense. The other change that I wonder about is seeing if Rychel could bring more to the 4th line than Hathaway. I see Hathaway and Janko as the top penalty killers but they see limited minutes.

  • Kevin R

    Jesus H Christian!!bHow in the world do you not have Bennett on the protected list??? & how do you not think he’s been earning his spot on that top 6. We have a talented but soft team. Sorry, but we will get to see how these talented soft players vanish when the game gets elevated in intensity & physicality. Bennett is a player we absolutely need in that top 6 & you bloody well protect him. Your take is complete insanity in my humble opinion.

    Sorry Czarnik has skills but just wait until the going gets tough & what are the odds you see him in the middle of a scrum in front of the net.

    The player I think is intriguing on what to do is Neal. He is underachieving & has not earned a top 6 spot. I havent seen any of the nastiness a player that size should be bringing. We need nasty big skilled players. Philly is in a mess, they just fired their GM, I would be totally intrigued with a Neal for Simmonds + maybe a mid pick. We may very well lose Simmonds next July but that 5.75 mill may be very valuable locking up Bennett, Tkachuk & Riitch or a #1 goalie.Im hoping Riitch stays what he has been & that will solve our problem in net & just need to find a very decent back up. We might be able to do that with Smith’s cap space we drop.

    • KKisTHEproblem

      I cheered you as I agree. No need to write off yet. We want to give him a proper development opp that he never got in Ottawa or here.He’s still just 23. He’s getting up there in age but I think this is a good year for him to develop into a 3rd or 4th line winger that can skate, hit and score the occasional goal. We way over paid for him but it ain’t over yet

      • Cfan in Van

        If scoring touch is the only thing holding him back, I wouldn’t just write him off. He was mostly successful at everything else while playing in a limited NHL role. I wouldn’t say it’s probable that he’ll end up having a success at the NHL level, but I also wouldn’t write him off completely. I hope he’d get considered for a call up, if we need a 4th line grinder (a not-Mangiapane type).

  • Nighteyes

    TJ Brodie is tied for first in the NHL for plus/minus at +16. Who would have though that even a month and a half ago? If he keeps this up, should the Flames resign or consider protecting him? Food for thought.

      • Nighteyes

        You’re probably right. Valimaki will probably be good enough to take on top four minutes by then. Brodie might be able to fetch a 2nd if his play keeps up.

      • Off the wall

        Who are you going to trade Brodie for?

        It’s ridiculous to think that now Brodie has been playing like the Brodie of old that we trade him again?

        Cuz smooth skating defence that can contribute defensively are so readily available?

        He has the best +/- and his GF GA per 60 (5vs5) is the BEST on the team. Giordano has a higher GF per 60, but not by much. That says a lot. Breaking up two on ones is becoming the norm for Brodie, ( Gio out of position) but let’s just trade him.

        Silly talk!!

          • Off the wall

            Try reading first friend.
            No one is saying Brodie’s better. I’m saying Brodie is the perfect compliment to Gio.

            Brodie has been reliable defensively when called upon, so let’s get the narrative correct.

        • Jeremy

          Who are you trading Brodie for? PICKS and cap space.
          Who’s replacing him. Rasmus Andersson.( who has looked very good paired with Gio).

          2019 will be a year of 82 mill cap.

          The 7 defensemen as is will cost 25.36 mill.
          Moving Brodie and replacing him with Kylington will save 3.92 mill.
          Meaning we’ll have 7 D at a cost of 21.44 mill.

          We’ve got 10 forwards including Frolik signed for next year at a cost of 40.21 mill and Gillies signed to an NHL deal costing 750k.

          Total comitted 62.4 mill.

          Needed is 4 forwards, 1 defence and a starting goalie from our 19.6 .
          million in space.

          Chucky ,Benny and Rittich will cost a bunch of this cash.
          Leaving a #8 D (800k) and #14 F( 750k) to round out the 24 man roster.
          A little leeway on the cap will be wanted, 2 mill or so.All of a sudden the team has 16.05 left .

          Stone and Frolik have no trade value . Brodie does.

          I fully expect TJ to be moved this summer and the Flames to score well from the Rio bump.

        • BendingCorners

          @OTW – I’m glad Brodie is doing well – much better than last year and better than the first few games this year. But he is at or past his prime, so if he can be traded next summer for significant younger assets, and if the Flames find some more RD prospects, then why wouldn’t you trade him, given the team’s looming cap crunch? In-season would be silly under the right circumstances and off-season trade would make sense, no?

          • Off the wall

            Bending Corners, I agree that we will be moving defence. Just not as early as this summer.

            Hamonic and Brodie will be UFA’s in 2019/20. That’s when I’d make a move. Not before.

            To think Andersson is going to replace Brodie next season is wishful thinking. He has 21 games under his belt this year, 32 altogether in the NHL.
            He’s not ready yet. Even his numbers suggest that.

            Neither is Valamaki ready for top 4 defensive roles. You need at least another year after this one to get a handle on their potential. Kylington is good in the AHL, however it’s also early for any speculation on him making the leap.

            Our D isn’t as deep as we’d like to believe. It’s coming, however it’s still early in all their careers.

            Being hasty, just creates more gaps than it’s worth.
            This has to be looked at long term. Unfortunately, some of our FN members have trigger happy fingers, while having zero information to back up their silly notions..?

          • cberg

            Absolute nonsense OTW. That kind of thinking would have already relegated Valimaki and also Anderson to Stockton to hone their skills and get enough ice time due such a (supposedly) good prospect. Those two are doing great and still have 3/4+ of a season to go to settle in. Your reluctance to give guys a chance is thankfully NOT the viewpoint of BP and thankfully so…..

      • Flames fan since 83

        We shouldn’t rule out trading TJ. I like how TJ is currently playing, but we all know it’s because of Gio. And only a small part because he’s on the right side. Really, TJ (any defenseman) should be able to be just as effective (or close to as good) on his natural side as he can on the off side.
        Gio is amazing, but father time will catch up. (sooner than later).

          • Flames fan since 83

            OTW, very good point. Maybe, Hamonic is also getting a Peters bump!
            I think that is why I use the term “rule out”. I think our team is a work in progress, and we should continue to evaluate and evolve. Hopefully in the right direction.

          • HOCKEY83

            I agree. Brodie saved Gio’s butt more than once in that game against Arizona…Not bad for a 28 year old who’s already past his prime…hee hee that still cracks me up.

          • BendingCorners

            @H83 – I’m glad I made you smile. But “at or past his prime” just means he won’t be better next year, not that his performance is about to fall off a cliff. That might be 3 or 4 years away. 🙂
            @OTW – I agree the rookies aren’t ready for a bigger role and won’t be for at least another year. But I suspect we get more in return trading a player with a full year still on his contract, when possible. If there isn’t another RD to replace him with (promotion, trade, UFA, European UFA), then yes, BT should keep him.

        • oilcanboyd

          What Gio does, is his D partners play with increased confidence, and just play hockey. Hamonic had his own issues last season in adjusting to a new city, team, and a failure at head coach GG. Not the best partner for TJ.

        • Flames fan since 83

          Thumz, I have a difficult time siding with a guy (WW) whom is incorrect 60% of the time. (all Backlund posts). But concede that WW has a point about evaluating a Brodie Trade.

      • Albertabeef

        Trade Gio instead while you can. Get a top prospect and a top 10 draft pick. BT will do this trade on draft day. From a business standpoint it makes the most sense especially with a looming expansion draft. Chucky will be our captain next season anyways.

    • oilcanboyd

      You know as well as everyone else on FN that GG was the one who almost destroyed Brodie’s NHL career. His passive offense schemes has had an effect on the oilers too. In comes Hitchcock and says he wants his team to play an aggressive forechecking offense. GG is gone at the end of the season, or before if oilers fall out of the playoffs.

      • His Dudeness

        Yeah let’s only blame GG for Brodie sucking. Then I guess he gets all the credit for Hamilton and his career year? Not defending that turd of a coach but it is clearly Gio making Brodie better.

        Everybody here realizes we cannot afford to keep him and Hamonic after next year correct? If he has a great year and BT gets a good return (first round pick) then you make the trade.

  • Fat Tony

    I’m in agreement with @decayinwtheboys on this one. 245 games is a pretty good measuring stick on what a player is and what he isn’t, and what is isn’t is a consistent and reliable NHL player. He can come in a give the team a bit of energy in a bottom six role but he has been given enough opportunity to prove himself and if he gets another shot, I don’t believe it will be with the Flames.

    • The Doctor

      Lazar’s done here. If I were him and I wanted to continue playing hockey, I’d take a serious look at going to Europe to play. A lot of guys with Lazar’s sort of resume do well and have fun over there. His speed would make sense on big ice too.

        • canadian1967

          There used to be a “blurb” about the writer on each article, and I swear it said you did some work for Future Considerations or am I “mis-remembering”?
          Either way, if Sam Bennett decides to play the right way, he will become the Heart and Soul engine that drives this team, along with Chucky.
          Sam had a quiet game against Vegas and look at the Meh-Fest that game was. I was watching it thinking to myself that Benny needs to drill somebody so the game wakes up and his Teammates press the engage button. If the Flames play slow, they will have more opportunity to lose than win. Bennett IS a core piece.
          Right now.

          • canadian1967

            If Janko can watch Benny and just start playing Full-throttle like Bennett is (like yesterday) then those 2 plus Chucky could be the 2nd line we have all been dreaming of.
            Beastmode, ENGAGE!

          • El Cid

            Bennet is a trade now once the cieling is high kinda player and the Turtle well he is an embarasment to not only to the team/community his family and the NHL but to men in general….. come on Matthew you can be better than a coward.

          • Cfan in Van

            El Cid keeps going on about Tkachuk like it’s a bad thing. All we hear through you’re posts, is that he’s an extremely effective pest (check), who everyone else hates (check), and we already know he scores a lot (check). He’s ticked a lot of boxes, and keeps checking more off as time passes. Thanks for reassuring us though!

    • Avalain

      Czarnik over Bennett for the 2nd line? Wasn’t the question “If you were forced to choose between Czarnik, Frolik, and Neal playing 2nd line RW for an extended period of time, which would you choose?”

      • BringtheFire 2.0


        You check the standings these days? Because I do. I check ’em all the time! I even go to different sites because I enjoy all the colour schemes on the websites.

        I like the Sportsnet standings the best. They have a number that’s called; “goal differential” at the end. I like checking that number too. Do you check that number too, Cid? Ours is green.

        Green means good. : )

        We’re good. 🙂

        • oilcanboyd

          I use nhl.com/standings and you can split standings by Division Wildcard Conference League and sort any column.
          By Division, Flames are first with +12 goal diff, only Sharks at +1 are above 0!

          By Conference: Calgary tied for 3rd with Wild.

          By League: Calgary tied for 5th with Wild!

          And By the Way the Flames are first in the Pac Division and 10th in the NHL with29 pts….. Yep, we are definitely good!

        • The Great perra

          Los comentarios de El Cids son estúpidos y tienen poca credibilidad. Tkchuck es un talento de élite, elite talant no deja caer los guantes con un matón a tiempo completo. Tan estupido.

    • Mitchell

      Czarniks alright in a 2nd line role, but he doesn’t bring any of the intangibles that bennett does. Hes not great defensively, stays away from physical play (which is why it makes no sense in playing him with tkachuk), hes not as hard on the forecheck or back check, and it seems like he avoids the front of the net. He doesn’t create room for himself or his linemates. He might be faster than bennett, and he may have a little better vision. At the end of the day it makes little sense to play czarnik on that line unless there’s an injury. Offensively czarnik for bennett is a lateral move, but bennett brings much more away from the puck.

  • SeanCharles

    1) Keep Lazar on the farm, it’s where he currently belongs. Dube, Czarnik, Mangiapane and Foo are better fits for NHL icetime.

    2) Rittich is an NHL goalie…now is he a starter or a backup? We need to find that out hopefully this season. If not aim for a 1A/B setup for the remainer of this season and next when considering who to sign as a 2nd goalie.

    3) 2020 expansion protection list: Gaudreau, Monahan, Lindholm, Tkachuk, Backlund, Bennett, Jankowski, Hanifin, Andersson, Gio, Rittich

    2021 expansion protection list: Gaudreau, Monahan, Lindholm, Tkachuk, Backlund, Bennett, Dube, Hanifin, Andersson, Valimaki, Rittich

    4) Perfect world scenario line 2: Tkachuk-Bennett-Neal, reasoning: I want Bennett and Tkachuk to develop chemistry and form a solid pairing for the foundation of a long term 2nd line. If Backlund is bumped it allows a defensive minded 3rd line to be formed with Frolik/Ryan.

    5) If it comes down to it and Kylington proves to be a young NHL defenceman as well we will likely need to choose between Brodie and Hamonic. Andersson, Valimaki, Hanifin, Gio and Kylington are the future and current team captain. Given Hamonics skills are unique to the team (RHed, gritty, defensive dman) I feel he should have the edge. We have players with similar skillsets to Brodie in Hanifin and Kylington. It will be tough to do but it might be the best choice. Good news is we can have our top 7 as Gio, Brodie, Hanifin, Hamonic, Valimaki, Andersson and Kylington next season before deciding what to do.

    6) With one season remaining it will not be difficult to offload Frolik and Stone. These two contracts make the most sense to jettison to make room.

    7) We won that trade, not because Carolina lost the deal but, because we have 2 young core pieces that are signed long term and seem to fit in well here. Carolina could lose Ferland and/or Fox for nothing.

    8) I like both Valimaki and Andersson and can’t decide. I agree Valimaki gets the edge due to age. Loving the fact we have Kylington and Hanifin in the mic too.

    • Arcadia

      Agree. I’ve not watched as many flames games as I would like this year, however I think I’ve seen Bennett play a little bit of center from time to time and he has looked good.

    • benfr

      I agree on all points except 1). Interesting that you want to write of Lazar but keep Foo as possible NHL level. For the record this year (AHL):
      GP G A Pts +/-
      Foo 20 5 5 10 -9
      Lazar 19 7 10 17 +1

      Lazar by all accounts is a good penalty killer, forechecker and out weighs Foo by 20 lbs. In their next birthday in early 2019 Lazar will be 24 and Foo 25.
      Tell me again why you rank Foo above Lazar?

  • aye

    So many people think Brodie is getting the “Gio bump”, I quite frankly disagree, if anything, for the past month it’s been quite the opposite. For the past several seasons it’s always been Gio covering while his partner (Brodie or Hamilton) joined the rush and getting the offensive accolades, but the past several weeks it has been a lot more of Brodie covering for Gio’s badly timed pinches (and there has been quite a few of late from Gio, but people seem to have overlooked them as he is putting up points to help the team). So let’s give credit where credit is due, Brodie is playing absolutely phenomenal right now, with or without Gio, and Gio’s game is certainly benefiting just as much from playing with Brodie as it is the other way around.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I have been a big Andersson fan for awhile. I find that heavy footed players have to be better positionally and think the game a couple steps ahead. They often don’t have the luxury of cleaning up their mistakes when the are beat. Valimaki has the ability to catch a player if he is beat while I don’t think Ras does. Personally, I think Ras has a better offensive upside but he rarely gets a clean shot off on the rush. Now that Ras has taken an interest in his fitness and diet he needs to hire Tkachuk’s skating coach in the summer to work on his explosiveness.

    I am thrilled with how Brodie is playing this year but I think he will have to be traded to make room for some mentioned contracts. There are not too many top pairing defenseman that are available in the league. If he finishes this season strong then his previous poor seasons can be defended by poor player use age and mismanaged coaching. However, teams will be leary of the Gio bump.

  • oilcanboyd

    Everyone seems to be discarding Smith like a bag of rotten spuds. What if: Smitty finds his game while Rittich regresses (or gets an injury) and Smitty becomes the Playoff goalie of choice…. That may be far-fetched, but entirely possible. Do the Flames re-signb him? I do not see a better choice within the Flames system and getting another free-agent goalie can be disastrous. Corey Schneider, anyone?

    • Cfan in Van

      Your correct, it’s possible that the rolls reverse by the end of the season.
      That said, if they decide to turn around and sign a 38yo to a starting goalie contract, that’s a death sentence to Tre or whoever would be responsible for it. It’s an exponentially larger gamble than his first contract. You don’t do that without an absolutely rock-solid and proven 1B already in place (and in your scenario, we don’t have that).

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      I think there is a chance that Smith finds his game but I am still not convinced he is willing to adapt his game to where it needs to be now that he has lost a step. He still tracks pucks late and constantly guessing.

  • Burnward

    Why Frolik isn’t assumed to be good as gone is weird to me.

    He’s old, has a muffin shot and is easily replaceable. If there’s even a hint of cap trouble you give him away if need be.

  • canadian1967

    Below is an excerpt from Darren Haynes article on The Athletic today:

    Name this Flames player:

    Left-shooting winger
    Age 22
    Born in Ontario
    Prolific OHL scorer
    Highly-touted first round pick
    Will hit everything
    Will fight anyone
    Second on the team in penalty minutes
    Infamous for his inability to do chin-ups”

    Guys, I know what you’re thinking, and NO it’s not Sam Bennett that Haynes is referencing; it’s Gary Robert’s.