Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sam Bennett Jersey Card

There are varying opinions of Sam Bennett's new deal online, with some saying he got fleeced by Calgary Flames management by signing a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.95M.

Here's my reasoning for why it's a better deal for him:

First off, he's showing good faith and pretty much admitting he had a sub-par 2016-17 season (13 goals, 13 assists, 26 points and 75 penalty minutes in 81 games, ten points down from the 18-18-36 he posted in 77 games from the previous season) and is willing to make amends. That scores high in my book.

The team's now left with $5.2M on the cap, which should be more than enough to sign someone like Jaromir Jagr who would immediately add talent in the top-9, and frees up a bit of money for an in-season trade in case someone under-performs or gets injured. Both of these would likely help Bennett produce at a higher clip than last year.

Sure, there are comparables like Nick Bjugstad, who signed for a $4.1M cap hit ahead of the 2015-16 season at the age of 23; but what the Flames are looking for in Bennett is a progression like Nick Bonino's - who played on the third line for three different teams before the Nashville Predators signed him this summer to center the second - except in accelerated form, which is fair to ask of a fourth-overall draft pick (2014).

He has two years to post a 40-to-50-point season and hover around 20 goals, like a second Mikael Backlund; if and when he does, he'll be making second-line money ($5M to 6.5M), which will be worth it for both the team and the player.

Here he is sporting his usual #93 on card #FT-SB from Upper Deck's 2015-16 Ice collection and Fresh Threads sub-set:
It shows the gold medalist (Team Canada, 2013 U18 World Juniors) wearing the Flames' white (away) uniform and features a matching jersey swatch from a rookie photo shoot.

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