The Calgary Flames announced that four players accepted qualifying offers on Wednesday: Bill Arnold, Kenny Agostino, Drew Shore and Bryce van Brabant.
General Fanager lists the contract details as such (all one-year contracts): Arnold takes in $824,500, Agostino receives $735K, Van Brabant lands $874,125 and Shore gets $850,500, at least at the NHL level.
Shore (pictured) carries the most robust top-level resume. The 24-year-old has appeared in 78 regular season games during his NHL career, including 11 with the Flames in 2014-15, generating three points. He also played in one Flames playoff contest.
Agostino, 23, has played in eight NHL games, all with Calgary in 2013-14. Arnold and Van Brabant are also 23 and have received a cup of coffee at the NHL level.
The Florida Panthers announced that they have agreed to one-year, two-way contracts with forwards Corban Knight and Garrett Wilson.
Knight, 24, is a former standout with the University of North Dakota. He went pro in 2013 after the Panthers traded his rights to Calgary in exchange for a 2013 fourth round pick (Michael Downing). He played primarily in the minors over the last two seasons, although he did appear in nine games with the Flames and scored a goal.
Calgary traded him back to Florida in January in exchange for Drew Shore. Knight had 16 goals and 36 points in 58 AHL contests with Adirondack and San Antonio in 2014-15.
Wilson, 24, was taken with the 107th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He had 23 goals, 38 points, and 80 penalty minutes in 71 contests with San Antonio last season. Over the last two seasons, Wilson has also played in five games with Florida.
Calgary looks like it’s making an interesting lineup switch to open its series against Anaheim — Drew Shore, acquired from Florida in January, looks as though he’ll draw in tonight when the Flames take on the Ducks at Honda Center.
Shore, 24, would take the place of Mason Raymond.
The 44th overall pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Shore has appeared in 78 career NHL contests — 11 coming with the Flames this season — but zero in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It looks as though he’ll make his postseason debut on Calgary’s fourth line alongside Brandon Bollig and Josh Jooris, which is an interesting development as Flames head coach Bob Hartley opted not to dress Shore in any of the six opening-round games against Vancouver.
That said, it’s not surprising the team was looking to change things up from Raymond. The veteran winger hasn’t done much this postseason, with just one point in four games; in the series-clinching Game 6 win over Vancouver, Raymond received just 5:39 of ice time and finished minus-1.
Sam Bennett’s season hasn’t gone as scripted, but he can’t argue with its finish. The 18-year-old forward will get to make his NHL debut this afternoon with the Calgary Flames. Based on the team’s pregame warmups, he’ll skate alongside David Wolf and Drew Shore in Calgary’s contest against the Winnipeg Jets.
After being taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, it looked like Bennett had a good shot of making the Flames for at least a nine-game trial. However, he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery and was consequently sidelined until late February.
When he was finally able to play, Calgary felt it was best to send him to the OHL Kingston Frontenacs, where he excelled with 11 goals and 24 points in 11 games. He was recalled by the Flames on April 3, but until now he had been serving as a healthy scratch.
Calgary has secured a playoff berth and will face the Vancouver Canucks in the first round no matter what happens today. That being said, who will have the home-ice advantage in that series remains to be determined and while Vancouver has the clear edge in that regard, a win by the Flames will at least keeps them in the running for it.
The Panthers have added another center to battle for their fourth line job.
The team announced the signing of former Canucks forward Steve Pinizzotto to a one-year, two-way contract. Last season, he made his NHL debut playing in 12 games for Vancouver and earning zero points but 29 penalty minutes. The former R.I.T. Tiger has earned his way through the ECHL and AHL by playing a grinding, hard-nosed brand of hockey.
With Florida’s top three center spots likely being taken up by Aleksander Barkov, Shawn Matthias, and Marcel Goc he’ll be challenging guys like Drew Shore, Nick Bjugstad, and recently signed Scott Gomez for a spot on the fourth line. With that competition being stiff, it’s possible he’ll wind up back in the AHL.