Flames sign Bennett to two-year bridge deal


Sam Bennett, among the most notable names on the list of remaining restricted free agents, is now under contract.

The Flames announced on Wednesday that they had re-signed the 21-year-old center to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1.95 million.

That’s certainly an affordable price for a Flames team that had about $7.1 million in cap space before this contract, according to CapFriendly.

The Flames have added to their defense this offseason, building a strong top-four group on the blue line, and looked to upgrade their goaltending by adding Mike Smith and Eddie Lack.

These moves would strongly suggest this organization feels it’s in a window to win now, and it still has about $5.2 million in cap space to perhaps make another addition to their lineup, if they choose.

The fourth overall pick in 2014, Bennett made his NHL at the end of the 2014-15 regular season and then turned heads in the opening round of the playoffs with an impressive showing for such a young player — remember, he was only 18 years old at the time — against the Vancouver Canucks.

But after scoring 18 goals and 36 points during his first full season in 2015-16, Bennett’s numbers dropped off this past campaign with only 13 goals and 26 points.

General manager Brad Treliving stressed to Sportsnet 960 the importance of getting Bennett signed prior to training camp.

“I think history has shown that missing time — or people that don’t get (to training camp) on time — usually it’s not a good thing,” said Treliving, before the deal was announced. “To get ready for an NHL season is difficult. You’ve got to get the reps. You’ve got to get playing at NHL pace. You’ve got to get doing it every day prior to the start of the season.”

This new contract, a bridge deal, puts the onus on the highly touted and talented Bennett to now go out and prove himself over the next two years.

Agent: Parenteau accepts PTO with Red Wings


After splitting time between the New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators last season, P.A. Parenteau has another opportunity in front of him.

The veteran forward will attend Detroit Red Wings training camp on a professional tryout, agent Allan Walsh announced via Twitter on Wednesday evening.

The Red Wings have since announced the deal, while confirming that they have signed forward David Booth to a PTO, as well.

Parenteau is now 34 years old. A two-time 20-goal scorer during his career, Parenteau had 13 goals and 27 points with the Devils before he was acquired by the Predators ahead of their playoff run.

He recorded one assist in eight regular season games with Nashville and appeared in five post-season games.

The Red Wings, who are currently facing a salary cap crunch, have 11 forwards under contract for the upcoming season, per CapFriendly.

That doesn’t include restricted free agent Andreas Athanasiou, who reportedly also has offers from teams in the KHL.

There is expected to be added competition for roster spots up front for Detroit when training camp opens, after standout AHL playoff performances from Tomas Nosek, Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Svechnikov put them in position to perhaps crack the NHL roster in October.

Report: Canucks, Horvat getting closer to a new deal


Earlier this week, Canucks general manager Jim Benning expressed hope that a contract with restricted free agent Bo Horvat will get done before the start of training camp.

Horvat is the lone Canuck player left to get under contract for the upcoming season, and Vancouver has about $5.375 million remaining in cap space after the signing of free agent forward Thomas Vanek.

According to Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet, the two sides continue to get closer to a new, long-term deal.

Over the last day or so, there have been a few suggestions about what Horvat’s next contract could look like. The common theme is that it’s believed the 22-year-old center will ink a long-term contract.

Benning told Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver that the two sides made progress last week, but he didn’t get into specific details about the negotiations.

“We’re still working on that,” said Benning. “It’s going well. We’ve said all along our policy is not to bring it into the media — where our negotiations are at. But I think it’s going well and hopefully we can get it done here in the next week.”

Golden Knights unveil Pickard’s new fan-designed goalie mask

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Being part of a new team calls for a newly designed goalie mask.

On Wednesday, the expansion Vegas Golden Knights unveiled Calvin Pickard‘s new mask, which is fan-designed by six different finalists and a grand prize winner from a team contest that ran last month.


“I received so many great designs and submissions that I couldn’t pick just one,” said Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Calvin Pickard. “My new Golden Knights mask incorporates elements from six different finalists, as well as a complete drawing from the grand prize winner. This was a fun and unique way to engage with the Golden Knights community.”

Grand prize winner Shawn Hickey submitted a design with a medieval knight overlooking the Las Vegas Strip and the Golden Knights primary logo on the crown of the mask. Both elements are featured on Pickard’s mask.

The Golden Knights selected Pickard with the first selection in the 2017 expansion draft. He was later joined in Vegas by veteran puck stopper Marc-Andre Fleury.

Report: Laich expected to attend Kings camp on PTO


Brooks Laich has previously maintained that he wants another shot at making an NHL lineup. At 34 years of age, it appears he will at least get another opportunity.

According to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider, Laich is expected to attend L.A. Kings training camp on a professional tryout.

After spending most of his career with the Washington Capitals, Laich was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2015-16 season.

Laich spent most of last season in the Maple Leafs organization but didn’t get into an NHL game, instead playing 27 times — with one goal and nine points — with the AHL Marlies.

He was placed on waivers by Toronto last October and cleared. He was eventually waived again, and seemed adamant at the time that he still had plenty to offer to a possible Stanley Cup contending team.

The Kings have missed the playoffs in two of the last three years, after a previous span of two Stanley Cup titles in three years.

Last season was particularly disappointing for the organization. As a result, the Kings have had a busy offseason, firing Dean Lombardi and Darryl Sutter and naming Rob Blake as general manager, Luc Robitaille as president and John Stevens as the head coach.

Following such significant turnover behind the bench and in the front office, the Kings are expected to bring in a few players on professional tryouts, including Laich, Brandon Prust, Chris Lee and Andrei Loktionov.