While the Calgary Flames signed Sean Monahan to an extension last month, there’s still the contract for his pal Johnny Gaudreau left to be sorted.
Gaudreau won’t be putting his signature on a contract any time soon considering he’s at the World Cup with Team North America and has said he’ll be focusing solely on the tournament and not financial matters until its conclusion.
#Flames Gaudreau on contract status: "I don’t think I’m speaking to my agent for the next 15 to 20 days…end of tournament see where it goes"
— Michael Traikos (@Michael_Traikos) September 6, 2016
But while Gaudreau focuses on hockey, his agent is focusing on a new deal for his client and right now there’s a bit of a gap to be sorted.
According to the Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis, Gaudreau’s camp and the Flames are $1.5 million apart per year on contract talks. Johnny Hockey is reportedly looking for something in the $8 million per year range — a fine starting point for negotiations — while the club desire something in the $6.575 million per year area, which is between what they handed Monahan last week and signed captain Mark Giordano to last summer.
The cap space is there with Calgary currently a little over $8.5 million under the ceiling, per General Fanager. It’s just a matter of the Flames believing in the 23-year-old’s talents over the long-term and writing a big time check for it.
Ari Yanover of Flames Nation believes the Flames should just pay the man.
In the current era of the Flames, Gaudreau is already the face of the franchise. He’s the one who gets people into seats, then out of them when he does something amazing. That’s the guy you pay, because that’s the guy people want to see. Without him, your team probably isn’t going to have much success.
If he ends up signed before the season starts – and if it’s for under $8 million for a substantial term, at that – then all of this is no harm, no foul.
If this extends into the season, though – and the clock is going to be ticking very, very loudly the second his World Cup is over – then that’s an unforgivable, entirely avoidable fumble by the Flames.
GM Brad Treliving and the Flames won’t have to worry about Gaudreau bolting to Sibir or Admiral of the KHL, or even being poached by an offer sheet given his unique status as an RFA. A deal will get done as both sides are committed to finding common ground. Johnny Hockey will own the richest contract in franchise history and we’ll continue to marvel at what the 5-foot-9 dynamo can do on the ice.
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