-Teammates gather around Johnny Gaudreau after scoring the OT winner and first career NHL hat trick against the Boston Bruins on December 4, 2015-
With playoffs beginning to drift further and further away from the Calgary Flames, the hot topic now is getting their star winger locked up to a brand new contract.
Eric Francis, the Calgary Flames TV analyst from Sportsnet, said today that Johnny Gaudreau’s agent Lewis Gross would be flying into Calgary to work on some promotional works and will begin contract talks with Flames GM Brad Treliving on a new contract. Francis also reported that this contract will “undoubtedly be the biggest contract in Calgary Flames history.”
Gaudreau made his Flames debut in the final game of the 2013-2014 campaign where he scored a goal in a 5-1 loss to the Canucks. Without a point in the Flames first 5 games of the ’14-15 season, he was a healthy scratch the following night. He came back into the lineup on October 19th, 2014 in a game in Winnipeg and had 2 points including the game winning goal. Ever since then, Gaudreau went up.
Gaudreau finished the 2014-2015 season with 24 goals, 64 points and +11 in 80 games. He also was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy. Along with line mates Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler, they led the Flames in scoring and were a huge part of sending the Flames to the playoffs for the first time since 2008-2009. The Flames ultimately lost in the Pacific Division Finals to the Anaheim Ducks in 5 games.
Coming into this season however, many believed Gaudreau couldn’t accomplish what he did last year but again he proved everyone wrong. Johnny Hockey currently sits 7th in NHL scoring with 22 goals, 55 points and +9 in 55 games. This puts him on pace to not only have a new career high but to beat last years totals by 20+ points.
With that being said, what could Gaudreau’s contract look like? Many believe his contract could be similar to Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko signed an 8 year/$60 000 000 contract with a cap hit of $7 500 000. Tarasenko had 73 points in 77 games when he signed his contract extension in 2014-2015 and Gaudreau is set to exceed that point tally. The only difference being Tarasenko is 24 and Gaudreau is 22.
Ultimately, the Flames may want to lock up a now 2-time All Star player Johnny Gaudreau long term instead of giving him a bridge deal and possibly running into a Steven Stamkos situation. The Flames highest paid player as of next year is Mark Giordano, who will make $6 750 000 for the next 6 years. The biggest contract in Flames history was Jarome Iginla’s 5 year/$35 000 000 contract which paid him an AAV of $7 000 000.
The way I see it breaking down is the Flames will offer him somewhere between $6.5 million from anywhere up to $8 million. I don’t think they’ll accept anything under 3 years, and if they do the money won’t be as high as it would be a bridge contract. If Gaudreau’s side wants the the dollar figure to be high, the term will also have to raised to fit that standard. The Flames also have to keep in mind that RFA’s this off season include Sean Monahan, Joe Colborne, Markus Granlund and others. Lots of speculation will come as talks begin to heat up but one thing is certain, Johnny Hockey is going to be Johnny Money when he gets his new contract.