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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames re-sign Sam Bennett to two year deal ($2.55M AAV)

The Flames have finished one of their major pieces of offseason business, signing winger Sam Bennett to a two year deal worth $2.55M annually.

Signing the deal avoids going to arbitration, which was scheduled for this weekend. This contract is a modest $600K raise from his previous deal, which was worth $1.95M and also ran for two years. There are no bonuses and no clauses on the contract, per Puckpedia.

The contract falls in line with what the market was handing similar players. Having picked up 26 and 27 (prorated to 31 in an 82 game season) points in a third line role during his second contract, Bennett wasn’t due for a big raise, but term would be a question. With an already expensive offseason ahead of them, the two parties opted for a shorter, cheaper contract.

The interesting caveat is that Bennett is still an RFA at the end of the deal. As he only has four accumulated seasons of NHL experience – his 12 game 2014-15 only burned a year of his ELC and not his UFA – Bennett would still be a year away from UFA when this contract expires. He’s essentially getting a second “show me” contract, and will be back at the arbitration table in 2021.

RFAs Matthew Tkachuk, David Rittich, and Andrew Managiapane still have to be signed. The Flames have about $7.4M in cap room to accomplish that.

  • jagrlegend

    Great value in this for both the team and the player. If Bennett can figure his game out and take it to another level in the next 2 years he’ll be in line for a big raise, and the team could get some great value if he outperforms what he’s getting paid.

    • oilcanboyd

      He has figured out his game…
      His offensive game continues to grow, but I think, specifically last year, he found a significant niche – a role – and an acceptance of what makes him successful at this level,” Treliving said back on Jul. 6.
      His offensive game continues to grow, but I think, specifically last year, he found a significant niche – a role – and an acceptance of what makes him successful at this level,” Treliving said back on His offensive game continues to grow, but I think, specifically last year, he found a significant niche – a role – and an acceptance of what makes him successful at this level,” Treliving said back onJul. 6.

    • everton fc

      I am now not 100% on board w/moving Brodie, but I think he’ll be moved. Ditto, Frolik – like him, think we could use him, but I think he’s gone, as well. They should also get rid of Czarnik’s contract, if they can.

      • Jimmyhaggis

        Agree, they probably won’t get much in return for Brodie or Frolik, Brodie prone to mistakes but still top 4 defenseman and Frolik is a good checker with occasional offensive ability. Czarnik hasn’t shown me he belongs.

      • oilcanboyd

        Czarnik is at 1.25 million, not really a cap buster, but I agree should be moved to make room for Dubes. Projected cap space at ~7.5 million. Move Brodie and put Stone on LTIR

  • Vernon30

    I like the contract. I know there’s a lot of work left this summer, but they will have way more cap space next year, right? Any chance they go after Hall, if (big if) NJ doesn’t get him back? Way off topic, and probably fantasy, but what are Flamesnation’s thoughts? Isn’t he a Calgary boy?

  • Garry T

    Now sign Mangiapane for two to three years at $1.75 per season.
    Rittich for $3.0 to $3.5 mil per for 5 years.
    Sign Tkachuk for five years at $6 mil per and if he doesn’t want that trade
    him for a whack of picks. This business of $8-10 mil for an unproven kid is crazy. He has had two big hits to the head already. He has a lot of people po’d at him and someone will catch him with his head down or looking the wrong way and he could be done. Too much financial risk involved.
    To replace him do a deal with the Rangers for Kreider or Buchnevitch or both. We then have improved our forward group nicely. The back end is good and Looch is the tough guy we needed and I will predict right here that
    There will be surprising upside to this guy.

  • BendingCorners

    I’m sticking to my prediction from mid-June – All four RFA will be signed for 12.0 or less, total.
    I had hoped Neal would be moved without taking back salary (I’d have preferred sending two first round picks) but now Frolik needs to be traded for a pick to make space.
    After all that, the hockey trades can finally begin – Brodie plus several somethings for another shooter, etc.

    • HOCKEY83

      so you’re saying rittich Mangi and Tkachuk are getting signed for 9.5 mil. That would be sweet but highly doubtful. The flames could do that without trading anyone if they could get them at that price…considering gillies and quine are figured into the cap space right now.

      • BendingCorners

        Gillies and Quine don’t quite get it there but yes, MT for 6.3, DR for 2.2, AM for 0.9. They still need to move somebody – Frolik I think – to get under the cap and have some wiggle room.

        • HOCKEY83

          Ya about $600,000 short less Gillies and Quine but close to the 9.5. I agree you should have some extra cap going into the season but is a bit of wishful thinking for the remaining RFA’s cap hits. Tre did quite a good job with Johnny…here’s hoping he can do the same with Tkachuk

          • Porcupine at a balloon party

            Despite what everyone keeps saying, I’m not convinced Matty gets 8. I believe it will start with a 7 but probably with any and all beneficial structuring going in his favor (ie, front loaded, signing bonuses). Could also see them structuring it like Meier’s contract where they go shorter term, lower aav but a huge salary in last year to force the teams hand with qualifying offer and/or signing long term before the qualifying offer.

            If they go longer term and higher AAV, I would expect them to cap his salary at 6.75 for first 3 years to be in line with Gio/JG.

            One last little wrinkle to all this, with Lucic they are actually saving $$ (not talking AAV). Frolik is only making 3m this year also. As such, they are actually paying 3.5m less than their cap hit right now for next season. My guess is that Lucic trade might have had a cash component to it. Whether that’s money to front load Tkachuk or boost their front office or hire a more experienced AHL coach, I’m not sure, but I’m definitely expecting something along those lines to happen

          • CowboyBob

            No way you can pay MT more than Aho. Aho drives the play on his line, MT is a solid player and a great complimentary piece on a line but he simply does not have the skating ability to be driving the play. Aho can play centre and kills penalties. MT must be signed for less than Aho.

        • Skylardog

          So we are going to pay the starter $550,000 less than the backup?
          Chucky is $8.0 ish. Matty + Ritter+ Benny alone are in the $14M area, Mangi makes it $15M.

  • Getpucksdeep

    Good on Flames nations amatuer GMs! I don’t try to predict contracts. I read a lot of posts that did try to call this and have to say most of the Flamesnation amatuer GMs who took a crack at it we’re all pretty close. No one called for 3 Million. Most here figured bridge at 2-2.5. I think Rittichs a bridge for 2 years as well. How much do the FNers really think he’ll sign for?

    I think Mangiapane is in Kulak territory and wants more than a million and thats just not how it works these days. He’s clearly skilled but we have see a full season of it before you put a number on him. They’d have to trade him as unlike Kulak he’s too valuable to just let walk.

    • Luter 1

      Kulak seems to have been a very handy pickup for the Habs, very competent young defenceman that we gave away for peanuts. Time we started picking up a few throwaways for peanuts that turn into something. Tre hasn’t really been able to pull this off.

      • Porcupine at a balloon party

        usually arbitrator just splits it down the middle. There’s a case to be made he’s only worth 2.5 or less in arbitration from flames side. If it goes to arbitration I wouldn’t expect it to exceed 3. Term will be the real factor in AAV here. Rittich’s comparables that earned 3.5+ were on 4+ year term. Based on Trelivings track record (referring to penchant for shorter term but could also point out his shrewdness with RFA deals) and our cap crunch, I can’t see this going beyond 2 years and almost certainly comes in under 3

  • withachance

    Thats one down for Tre. Really good contract as per usual.

    Next: Rittich 2-3 years for 2.8M – 3.3M, Mangi for 1M max, Frolik gone for picks, Brodie gone for top 6 upgrade, sign Tkachuk for whatever’s left. Dog days of summer

      • Luter 1

        If we could get one good aggressive competent top 6 forward out of both of them, I would run with the young D we have and try to pour in 5he goals like we did last year. By year end them young D would perform better than Brodie did last year in the playoffs by a long shot. Brodie is not improving in fact could be argued he has regressed while we know our young guys will improve.

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        My guesses:
        1) Frolik to Phi for picks (they have bad PK and need 1 more decent top 9 Fwd) to save his $4.3M. And so cap space up to 11.723M then Quine to minors saves $735K plus Gillies to minors saves another $750K so space now 13.208M.
        2) Tkachuk at $8.5 AAV x 5 years (loses a bit of UFA years) with heavy bonuses in year 1 and 2 in case of lockout, NMC clause in years 1-2, NTC in years 3&4&5 (player has 10 team NTC)
        3) Mangiapane at 900K for 1 year
        4) Rittich at $2.8M x 2 years
        Cap Space left = 13.208M less 12.200 = 1.08M (for trade deadline push)

  • everton fc

    I can’t see how they can sign Tkachuk long-term. Yet. I see a bridge contract, for Tkachuk.

    But, if they can buyout Stone and move Czarnik off the books…

    The Lucic trade was “big”, in the sense that it’s crazy. BT will have another surprise for us, this summer. No one here saw Lucic-for-Neal. I have this strange feeling that trades going to work for us. I also have a feeling Valiev is a very good prospect. Time will tell. We shall see.

  • PlayitagainSam

    About $600,000 too much for a player that has underachieved throughout his time in the league. He throws a few hits and fights once in a while.
    Overated he is a 25 point player!!