On Bennett, Gazdic, Glass, and Hathaway
September 1, 2017, 11:27 AM ET [14 Comments]
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1) Training camp opens in just a couple weeks and the Calgary Flames have still not come to terms on a contract extension with Sam Bennett.
While some have rightfully pointed out the two sides have had ample time to make something happen, I don't think there's any reason to be worried about Bennett missing camp and/or any games.
It can take a lot of time to extend restricted free agents, especially when they don't have arbitration rights, and there are plenty of other players around the league going through the same thing (David Pastrnak, Damon Severson, etc.).
The Flames are no doubt trying to use Bennett's down season -- in terms of overall counting totals, anyway -- against him to lower the price while Bennett's camp is likely arguing what we all know: Bennett is capable of delivering more and should be compensated accordingly (i.e. paying for future performance rather than past).
Even if the two sides are close to a deal -- Brad Treliving and co. would never let anything get out one way or another -- it makes sense to use the time at hand to try and get the best deal possible.
If Treliving is digging his feet into the ground on X amount of dollars, it makes no sense to budge now with camp still a couple weeks away. On the other side of things, it makes no sense for Bennett's camp to settle for less than they want when there is no deadline in front of them.
When all is said and done, I expect Bennett to sign a two-year bridge deal worth ~$2.5 million, give or take, prior to camp opening up.
2) If the Flames are serious about contending this season, they need to maximize every roster spot and get as much skill into their lineup as they can fit.
This, of course, would mean not dressing someone like Luke Gazdic, who the team signed earlier this summer, or Tanner Glass, who will be in camp on a professional tryout.
With all due respect to those guys -- they're miles better than I'll ever be -- I think the Flames would be much better off with someone more likely to hit 15 points than 15 fights.
I don't know if they *plan* on having one of those two on the team, even as a rotational player, but signing Gazdic and inviting Glass signals they're probably at least considering the possibility.
I think dressing as much skill as possible on all four lines is the way to go but, if they want to have a gritty, 4th-line type, I'd much prefer Garnet Hathaway to Gazdic and Glass. He's a much better skater and, though he has his flaws, brings at least *some* skill to the table.