The Calgary Flames have re-signed restricted free agent Sam Bennett to a two-year deal worth $3.9 million, for an average annual value of $1.95 million. Bennett is the highest draft pick in Calgary Flames history, going 4th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Calgary Flames Re-Sign Sam Bennett
Bennett spent his junior career with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). In his three seasons in Kingston, Bennett scored 155 points, 65 of which were goals.
Bennett has yet to live up to his high expectations. In 159 career regular season games, he has just 63 points. While only playing one regular season game due to shoulder surgery in 2014-15, Bennett scored four points in 11 playoff games that year. He spent his second year playing on the wing, despite being drafted as a centre. Last season saw Bennett struggle greatly, putting up only 26 points, 13 goals and 13 assists, in 81 games. To make matters worse, Bennett was highly undisciplined, taking costly and often unnecessary penalties. Looking ahead to this upcoming season, Bennett is most likely going to start the year on the third line with Kris Versteeg and Curtis Lazar. Despite all of his early career struggles, Calgary still believes he will be an important part of this team’s core
The amount of time it took to get this deal done was becoming increasingly worrisome for the Flames fanbase. Many were worried that Bennett would sit out training camp, as Johnny Gaudreau did one season earlier, if a deal was not agreed to before hand.
This new contract makes sense for both sides. Bennett now has two more years to prove himself, and reach that elite potential that both he and the Flames organization know he has. Meanwhile, his cap-friendly deal allows Calgary to pursue a free agent winger in order to fill an open spot in the bottom-six of their lineup.
Embed from Getty Images