Is Sam Bennett ripe for an offer sheet?
Is he coveted enough outside Calgary for a team to try sticking it to the cap-strapped Flames with an offer he can’t refuse?
On the outset it may sound like the oddest of names to attach to a practice even rarer than payphone use. But it may not be the craziest of possibilities.
Bennett made $1.95 million in each of the last two seasons and needs to be offered a 10-per cent raise to qualify him this summer. That means the minimum the arbitration-eligible forward would make as a Flame moving forward would be $2.14 million.
It’s hardly cost-prohibitive, but you can bet the versatile third-line winger will be pressing for more in negotiations that may end up in an arbitrator’s hands.
With Matthew Tkachuk looking at eating up in the neighbourhood of $8 to $9 million of the $14.5 million in cap space left, one must keep in mind the Flames also need to ink their two opening-night goalies, which don’t come cheap.
It makes it hard to find room for RFA Andrew Mangiapane, UFA Garnet Hathaway or Bennett, unless the Flames look into the likelihood of trading a veteran like T.J. Brodie and/or Michael Frolik to free up some cap space. A buyout of seldom-used Michael Stone’s final year at $3.5 million is also a possibility to free up cap space.
Well aware of the Flames cap situation, what might a team like Vancouver, for example, be thinking?