Micheal Ferland re-signed this Thursday with Calgary, and apparently he’s slotted for big things this year. Adam Gretz of NBC Sports reports that Ferland will play on the top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Ferland will be playing as the third wheel to the talented duo, but should be a productive member. Ferland has yet to cement himself as a consistent offensive producer, so this vote of confidence should be taken as a sign of his internally perceived value. With only 25 points last season, he’ll need to find a bit more of a knack for playmaking in tight spaces. As Gretz mentioned, he has posted a positive Corsi (52%) in the minutes he paired with the Gaudreau-Monahan duo. If nothing else, he’ll open up room for the line with his heavy forechecking style and if he stays with those two long-term, look for his next contract to be a good deal more expensive.
- Sam Bennett is the only major RFA the Flames have yet to sign. He’s also a bit of a confusing commodity. He really regressed offensively in a manner no one was anticipating last season, and it’s hard to ascertain how much that will impact his upcoming deal. The Flames would likely like to lock him up for some of his UFA years, but Bennett seems to think he can prove his value in the immediate future. He remarked to the National Post’s Al Charest after their first round series that he’s “just getting started”, and it’s easy to believe him. He has incredible hands and seems more well-rounded than when he entered the league, even if he struggled to produce in 2016-17. His Corsi only went down slightly (.6%) while his Fenwick went up, and he did face a tougher quality of competition. Odds are that Bennett bounces back and earns a heftier long-term contract down the road. For now, somewhere around $3 MM seems a safe bet.
- The two parties haven’t been linked, but at this late date might Calgary show an interest in reuniting with Jarome Iginla? Iginla has wanted a place on a contender for the last half-decade, and Calgary has shown that they could compete in the immediate future. Adding Mike Smith in net, adding Travis Hamonic and re-signing Michael Stone on the back-end, and with the youngsters another year older, they could do some damage come spring. One of Alex Chiasson or Kris Versteeg might need to slot down a healthy lineup on occasion if it were to happen, but Iginla would provide some invaluable leadership for the young core on a dirt-cheap deal. They have the cap room to make it happen if they so desire.