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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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  • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

  • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.