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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.

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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.

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  • 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.

  • PlayitagainSam

    Zack Kassian makes 1.95 ml per year and Bennett now makes 2.55?
    Kassian got 2 more goals than Bennett ,he is bigger stronger , better skater and can fight better. I guess Bennett was drafted higher so he deserves more?

      • PlayitagainSam

        If you knew anything about Kassian you’d know that he is an excellent skater. You don’t play with the Sedins and McDavid without knowing how to skate.

      • PlayitagainSam

        You may think he is a better player but stats say differently. They are they same player but Kassian is bigger stronger and better fighter with a better contract. You guys love Bennett but he has been a major flop since coming in the league. You guys used to think he was better than Draisaitl or did you forget that too?

        • oilcanboyd

          Talking about major flops, oiler trolls? Yakupov, a #1 Overall pick, Puljujarvi, a #3 Overall pick…. Benny is as far and away better than those two BUSTS!

        • The Red Knight

          Bennetts on the rise , he may get another chance on the top 6 yet ,he’s playing some pp , I think he was a bit unlucky last season,but he played solid ,better at driving play,better puck management and didn’t take a bunch of bad penalties,I seen a better player despite points , I’ve seen it lots when you see a player start figuring it out and I see it in Bennett s play ,plus he’s pretty good defensively and doesn’t get the credit for that.

    • Kevin R

      Honestly get lost. If you dont like our players & what we signed them for fine. Go to ON & chant & do what ever you get excited about with that perennial draft lottery team of yours. School will be starting soon, here’s a math problem for you to hone up on: What is the win/loss goal differential differences between the Oilers & Flames last year? Hint, you can probably get this information by hitting year end standings for the 2018/19 NHL regular season for the Pacific Division on google.

    • The Red Knight

      That’s because your teams so bad Kassian was given more ice time . 2 more goals one season big deal ,and he’s not a better skater that ridiculous,Bennett would make him look like a pylon.

    • Budgie

      Lucic will be welcomed, Calgary is a good organization to play for. Not much you can say about Edmonton, a team that traded away Gretzky and let Fuhr’s career get ruined from drugs, everyone was doing it not just Fuhr-they really stood behind him-class all the way-by everyone I mean many players in the NHL in the 1980s, not every player-but Fuhr was the sapegoat for the Oils

  • 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.

  • 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

      • 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)

      • 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.

  • 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!!

  • Seabass

    I love this deal for the Flames. I would like to see Janks moved to the fourth line center role with Ryan and Bennett sharing the third line center role based on where the fase off is. Ryan really turned it on in the second half last year and his underlying numbers are quite good. Lucic and Mangiapane can battle it out for the Left wing on that 3rd line. My guess would be Lucic. Janks and Mangiapane already have some chemistry from back in the A. Lucic and Bennett crashing and banging with Ryan’s positional awareness would create a lot of turnovers. Here’s what I see at the moment:

    Johnny – Monny – Lindholm
    Tkachuk – Backs – Frolik/Dube/random scoring rw from a Brodie deal
    Lucic – Bennett/Ryan – Bennett/Ryan
    Mangi – Janks – Czarnik

    We’ll see how the Peters blender mixes things up, but I am quite excited already!

    • Albertabeef

      Gaudreau – Monahan – Ryan
      Tkachuk – Lindholm – Czarnik/Frolik(if by somehow he’s not traded)
      Mangiapane – Backlund – Bennett
      Lucic- Jankowski – Dube

      Dube got injured 3 times in his short stint. If Lucic is playing protector I want him shadowing Dube. Dube and Janks should play well together and Lucic will hit enough for all three.

  • Chucky

    This is a great contract for the team and Bennett. It takes his next negotiation away from any significant contract and that is a big advantage to him and keeps him as a RFA which is very good for the team.
    At some point there is a question who who filed for arbitration to open the buyout window and what concession does he get from the team.
    Nice to be able to post as Chucky again. It is quite conflicting to not know if you are half or double what you were before the Lucic trade.

  • drogon

    Here you go
    David Rittich: $2.9M for 2 years
    Andrew Mangiapane: $0.9k for 1 year, two-way contract
    Matthew Tkachuk: $6.75M the first 2 years, $8.25M the last 4 years, AAV @ $7.75M. We can expect a nice bump for the cap in 2021 with TV’s contract being re-negotiated.

  • 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?

  • Herringchoker1971

    I’m glad this is done. Hopefully Benny can just relax and play. He’s been saddled with an anchor since year two. At least if he gets saddled with Lucic they can create some chaos. Benny’s game needs some chaos. My hope is that Frolik gets traded and Benny ends up with Chucky and Backlund. Players can then naturally move up in their roles.

    Once Riddick gets signed. Then Tre can focus on finding the extra cash to sign Chucky. Frolik is gone for sure. I just want to wait on Brodie until Chucky is signed and his value increases. I don’t want them to trade Brodie from a position of weakness.

    • Fat Tony

      I think Bennett has been given enough opportunities to move up in the line up and he hasn’t taken advantage. If Frolik gets traded that doesn’t necessarily open the door for Bennett but one of Dube or Mangiapane. Bennett on the right side of Ryan and Lucic is a pretty intimidating 3rd line if you ask me and I wouldn’t anything to hinder that possibility.

  • PlayitagainSam

    You guys are all forgetting or choose not to talk about the fact that I done care if Beal gets one goal . We have rid ourselves of Lucic and the worst contract in the league. You can’t buy him out, can’t move him and have to protect Lucic. So you lost this trade ten fold!!

    • The GREAT WW

      I don’t know why the Oilers were so concerned about protecting Lucic in the expansion draft; it’s not like you have enough forwards worth protecting…..
      CHIARELLI made sure of that.

      Could have had Hall, Eberle, Byng, Barzal etc. To protect…..But CHIARELLI…..

      WW

    • The Iggy complex

      Haha really no one cares what you think. You will be back hiding in your little hole with rest of the Oilers trolls in December when Oilers are out of it yet again. All Holland has done is Easter cap space signing a whiter bunch of bottom six players to go along with the 12 they already had. Neal is a downgrade from Lucic so they still only have 3 forwards, 2 d.

  • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

  • 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

  • Off the wall

    Bennett reminds me of Joy dish detergent. He likes the grease and can tackle the hardest part of the filth in the game!

    It’s weird, but it was my go- to dish soap, yet I can’t find it in any stores anymore. It’s great for unclogging toilets too. Pour a little in with warm water, wait 15 minutes and …voila

    Bennett don’t take no crap, neither does Joy!

  • Ludis Fanaticus

    I like this contract a lot.
    I like Sam’s comments to the media after even more.

    He really sounds like a guy that is motivated and as many have said, understanding of what can make him a success in the NHL.
    I hope he gets his wish and finds his way into the top 6. If he does, its likely the Flames are having a heck of a year.

    Barba non facit philosophum

  • Budgie

    I hope he is moved to Centre, his natural position. Cap Space is still needed, Rittich, and Mangiapanne need contracts. We are stacked with defenceman, and Dube should be promoted-depending on training camp. Bennett was a good signing-he can earn a raise if he produces in the next two years, motivation built in instead of getting a 4 or 5 yr.

      • The GREAT WW

        I always support players that beat up Oilers; like Bennett did to Nurse last year.
        How do Kassian and Lucic like eachother? I guess we’ll find out…..

        WW

        • PlayitagainSam

          5.25 ml to play on tour 4th line. Like the old saying goes.once was a crusher, now thinks he’s a rusher but in reality Lucic will turn out to be be an usher! 5 minutes a game max.

          • Luter 1

            You are in for a rude awakening. I watch both Flames and Oilers games because I enjoyed seeing the Oilers painful season. Neal was truly pathetic 98% of the time, really bringing nothing to the table. He honestly looked like a guy with two pulled hamstrings labouring down the ice. When he did get a chance his hands failed him miserably. He didn’t forecheck or backcheck and actually got in the way of other players and seemed to be a real downer for anyone that had to play with him.
            On the other hand, I seen Lucic at least drilling a few guys, multi- million dollar defenceman rushing their passes as they seen their careers being ended by a concussion causing collision. That’s what aggression causes and a little policing for our smaller guys. I’ll take that over Neal every day.

    • KootenayFlamesFan

      Maybe now the physical load will be lifted off his shoulders and he can just play his game without worrying about having to tangle with the heavyweights.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Wasn’t it just a few months ago that many Flame fans touted Dalton Prout for being able to subdue Lucic? So Tre gets rid of the $1.99 Prout in favour of the $6M Lucic. Don’t think Tre has a bright future as a CFP, certainly not one I would engage.

    • Flint

      I think you’re seriously overlooking the fact that Prout was a defenseman, and in order for him to “subdue” anyone, he needs to be one of the 6 D we have out there. That’s a bad situation. Although I didn’t mind Prout as an #7/8 D.

      Lucic will be one of 12 forwards and can play 8 min a night if need be. Throw some good hits. I don’t care what Edm gets out of Neal. If Lucic finishes the season with 200+ hits and 5 goals and 10 assists we are a better team with him than with Neal. Sure, we’re likely better with neither, but that’s not reality.

      • Flint

        Actually, I should say that I do care what EDM gets out of Neal. It’d be good if he got 21 goals and 10 assists and is the defensive liability that he has been his whole career. Then we get a 3rd and Edmonton gets a player who costs them a goal and some for every goal he nets, and will do more damage than good.

    • MOlson

      Lucic equals Hathaway plus Prout (and/or Pelosi when they had to be inserted, which then benched the speed of a Kylington or 1 of Mang, Dube, or Czarnik). Any of Mangiapane, Dube, or Czarnik will be better than Neal. Don’t see this as a bad deal at all.

  • everton fc

    Man, the Lucic/Neal swap has really juiced up, and divided, the “Nation”, here!

    Having digested the trade, I can’t say I like it – it was so unexpected – but I like Lucic, and I think he will doo well here, and make all the naysayers, fans, as the season progresses. Not because I want it to work, but I think Lucic suffered like many players in the past, under a crap management team, in Edmonton. Holland and Tippett were good grabs. But Lucic was under a different regime. He’ll thrive here, I think, in a role that Hathaway was never given credit for, until he was 50 games into his second full season.

    Lucic will score 10+ here, and get 20+ assists. Book it.