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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    • 11U 705591 5659480

      Getting rid of Neil, a player who obviously wasn’t working out here, was a move that, on its own, was a case of addition by subtraction. The acquisition of Lucic was a bonus and he is:

      1) tough, physical and intimidating
      2) a good possession player with a majority of defensive zone starts
      3) strong on the boards
      4) durable
      5) a veteran

      • MDG1600

        The only people in the hockey world who think the Lucic/Neal trade was a good one for Calgary are wearing the rose-colored glasses of a fan here on FN. They are two lousy players with two lousy contracts and Lucic’s contract is the worst of the two. The better solution would have been to simply buy out Neal to get rid of him.

        • Theo/14

          Exactly. All you have to done is turn on any tv or radio station and they will tell you the obvious truth about this trade and which team was the loser. Let me guess though. Calgary fans know more than the rest of Canada and the hockey world? Lol My Lawwdd lucic cant even be bought out while Neal can if it doesn’t work out!! Does that not matter to flames fans!?!?!?

          • Ramskull

            It’s funny how Neal was a deadhorse just the same as Lucic but all of a sudden he’s twice the player Lucic is and a 30 goal scorer to boot. It reminds me of how the media made Phil Kessel the leafs greatest 50 goal scorer to never score more than 40.

          • Porcupine at a balloon party

            Run the buyout numbers with the retained salary for 2021-22 season (2 years left) and you’ll see they are almost identical, particularly if you include the retained salary from Edmonton and add it to Neal’s buyout.

      • everton fc

        I always liked Lucic. I never liked Neal. The trade, on the surface, looks crazy, and unnecessary. Underneath it all, I like the fact we have Lucic to keep the peace. People keep saying he’s only had a few fights the last few years. “Ditto”, Ferland. And probably Reaves. Guys that can fight, don’t have a lot of fights these days. McQuaid’s another, who doesn’t have to “dance” that much.

        • PlayitagainSam

          Lucic can’t play anymore at all and barely engages physically anymore. You’ll see , he will leave you very frustrated and you’ll be asking yourself why a lot of the times.

          • canadian1967

            Lucic had more than 250 hits each of the last 2 seasons. Top 5 both years.
            That’s what he’s here to do, not score, so we won’t look at him as the guy brought in to play top line minutes with McJesus.
            We can just look at him for what he is; a physical presence with cup experience for our bottom 6.
            Perspective IS different here.

          • Raffydog

            What you fail to realize is, Flames fan know exactly what they are getting in Lucic. Nobody expects him to play top line minutes and pot 20-25 goals. We all know here is here for protection, and that’s what the Flames badly need. However, Oiler fans have already slotted Neil on the top line, and are predicting him to score 30 plus goals and lead them to the Stanley Cup. One of these fan bases is going to be extremely disappointed.

          • FLT

            Well put canadian1967. I think both Lucic and Neal will benefit from that change in perspective, but at least Lucic brings something to the table even if he’s not scoring.

          • oddclod

            I don’t think so. Loach was expected to be Cam Neely or Rick Tochet in Edmonton, and it deflated him, but he still cares.

            Neal is a sack of dung. We expect Looch to be a 4th liner with upside. Remember we have quality mid to bottom forwards and a mobile defence that pushes the play deeper than he ever experienced in Edmonton, he literally could be a different player entirely with less expectations to weigh him down.

            Edmonton can’t move the puck north unless Connor Dry or Nuge is involved. Neal will be expected to drive play = early retirement.

          • The Iggy complex

            Neal is extremely slow and just floats around the ice. Plays die on his stick. And he is useless in every other facet of the game. You will be quite disappointed with him.

      • Theo/14

        I mean I get it that flames fans are now going to like lucic for the sole fact he is now a flame for 5 more years. He is untradable and cannot be bought out……. BUT let’s cut all the BS of “oh I’ve always been a lucic fan”. “Lucic is a good possession player and I’ve always thought that”

        Noooooo you didn’t no one thought that, not even oilers fans thought that!!! That’s why everyone made fun of the oilers when Chiarelli signed that atrocious contract to a guy who was on the definite downside of his career. Including every flame fan. Lol I just can’t believe how funny it looks now that flame fans think Milan is the saviour and always has been. Lol Holland said the other day he couldn’t find one other team that would trade for Milan and he thought Calgary would be a good fit for both players. Why couldn’t he find another willing participant to take on Milan? Go to Hockey DB to find your answer. Trash away and tell me “not true i always liked lucic and never made fun of him and his contract.”

        • Flint

          I thought Lucic’s contract ended in 2022-23. That’s 4 years.
          Why can’t he be bought out? If bought out June 2021… the Flames on on the hook for 3,8mill, 4,5mill, 500k 500k. That’s cheaper than if he plays (at 5,25 ea) and less than a replacement player the two extra years.

          Unlike in Edmonton nobody in CGY thinks Lucic is a saviour, nor a top 6 player, nor a goal scorer. He’s here to hit guys, punch guys (if needed) and be a good teammate and not a distraction, which Neal was not the former and was the latter.

          No matter what anyone thinks of Lucic, you cannot say he is not a physical presence, and that’s what we have him for.

        • Jobu

          Agreed Theo!

          His contract was ridiculous, and now its ours. But Jobu’ll gladly take an overpaid 250 hit policeman on our third/fourth line than what we saw out of Neal last year; a No-Effort, No-Hands, Defensive Liability, Doghouse, Real Congeal James Neal. And someone else posted a wise perspective about how much better puck moving our defense is compared to Edmontons. This should help Looch get some good quality time hitting opposing defensemen and helping on the offensive side of the puck. Thats the hope anyway.

          While Jobu was hoping Neal would stick it out and turn it around this year, he also had the same hope for Brouwer. Fool me twice, shame on Jobu… Jobu isn’t sad that hes gone, especially after the spat with the coach and the benching last year. You just knew that was going to carry over.

          Jobu is also happy Neal went from a place he didn’t like to a place hes going to hate even more. Hope you enjoy your extra helping of fan hate, Jim! Personally, Jobu is excited to see Lucic plaster a couple people this year. Makes for fun hockey! And he hopes one of those people is James Neal.

  • 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

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Damn straight except your timeline. Mere hours before the trade I doubt you could find a handful of Flame fans who truly thought Lucic regardless of what jersey he wore would ever get some semblance of his game back and actually earn the money he is paid. The trade proved my point that no matter how terrible a signing GM makes, one of his fellow GMs will bail him out. How poorly must the relationship been between Neal and the Flames that Tre’s best option (only option) was to acquire what is arguably the worst contract in the NHL?

      As I see it, Lucic is a year ahead of Neal. Following his dreadful 2017-18 season, Lucic dedicated the summer of ’18 to getting himself in the best physical condition of his life as well as getting his head in a good place. Re-energized and re-focused heading into the 2018-19 season, Lucic still sucked. Clearly, the game has passed him by. I believe the same is true of Neal. Neither player is effective in today’s NHL.

      While I applaud Tre for attempting to clean up the Neal fiasco post haste and not allowing it to linger as he did with Brouwer, I am not sure he has put the club in a better place to win with Lucic in and Neal out. It smacks of a desperate GM whose options were nil and who was feeling the heat. Ironic that the Tre is starting to look a lot like that ex-GM in Edmonton who made Lucic golden.

      As of now, I don’t think the Flames have improved their club one iota this offseason with the additions of a pair of ex-Oilers and still in cap gloom, so unless Tre can have a sensational August, this club will head into training camp looking very much like the team that skulked off the ice after being thrashed by the Avs in April.

      • The Red Knight

        Lucic sucked and so did the rest of the oilers team , oilers will now definitely must be going for the lotto pick because now one of the best teams in the league just gave one of worst teams it’s worst player, yet any oiler would be better on Flames,and if we had Connor on this roster he d put up 150 points every year, lucic will be twice the player he was is Edmonton. Neal will be boughtout after this season.

      • Porcupine at a balloon party

        Funny you refer to team that got smacked by Avs and not the team that finished first in West second in League after not making playoffs and generally looked VERY good all year.

        Relax, they needed to get feet wet, particularly the coaches which I think was bigger issue than anything

        • BlueMoonNigel

          Same reason I don’t get excited about CFL standings during the summer.

          Wouldn’t be out of the question for the Flames to miss the playoffs in 2019-20 as I don’t see any wild cards coming out of the Pac, and if the Canucks and Coyotes build on their surprisingly strong season last year. Ducks are not going to be in a rebuild for too long as they have some solid kids ready to assume full-time jobs in the NHL come October.

    • oilcanboyd

      Well, considering what we gave up to get Lucic, it is a good deal. Watching Neal float around half dazed and uncaring will solidify that thought. Oilers fans think they are getting a 25-30 goal man. Couldn’t make the first line on the Flames at training camp… He will get 10 goals by accident…

    • Burnward

      There were two reasons I hated playing Edmonton: McDavid and Lucic.

      They were the only things that scared me.

      Neal you can laugh at because he sucks and he’ll probably just slash you and go pout.
      Lucic will smash your face.