Report: Flames aren't close to signing Sam Bennett

Sep 6 2017, 1:19 am

Sam Bennett might go play in Europe.

Don’t think many people predicted that.

But that’s exactly what TSN insider Darren Dreger suggested Tuesday morning, as the Flames and restricted free agent Sam Bennett aren’t close to coming to an agreement on a new contract.

We’re into September and with that, the clock begins to tick louder and louder for both Bennett and the organization.

Will the 21-year-old be a training camp hold out? It certainly looks like that’s a possibility.

Dreger qualified his statement later in the morning, saying “likelihood something gets done with the Flames,” although this will be interesting one to follow.

“We’re going to get Sam signed,” Flames GM Brad Treliving told the Calgary Herald last week.

If the Flames and Bennett are indeed far apart in negotiations, expect this to end in a short term deal. That will give Bennett a chance to prove he can be the player Calgary thought he would be when they drafted him. If he does that, he’ll cash in big.

Training camp should act as a pressure point for both Bennett and the team. Missing camp can put a player behind the eight ball and derail a season.

Will Bennett, who had a disappointing season in 2016-17, risk it?

The fourth overall draft pick in 2014 saw a decline in his production, scoring just 26 points (13-13-26) in 81 games. That’s well back of some other forwards taken in his draft year, including Leon Draisaitl, Sam Reinhart, Nikolaj Ehlers, William Nylander, David Pastrnak, Brayden Point, and Viktor Arvidsson.

Bennett, who finished 10th in Flames scoring last season, is the lone restricted free agent remaining for Treliving to sign. He’s coming off his three-year entry level deal that paid him $925,000 per season.

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