The Calgary Flames and its fanbase are definitely having a happy Canadian Thanksgiving after the organization announced the re-signing of superstar winger Johnny Gaudreau to a six-year extension worth $40.5 million.
“Obviously, it’s an exciting, exciting day for us,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. “This kid is a special player. He’s a special talent. We are aware of it in Calgary and if they weren’t before, the entire hockey world knows how good of a hockey player he is when you see what he did in the World Cup.”
It’s safe to say that everyone in the hockey world is a little bit surprised at the average annual value of this contract. Though $6.75 million is a lot of money, it is a bargain price-tag when you consider that it was reported that Gaudreau was seeking more than $8 million per year.
Despite ongoing negotiations that stretched through the end of training camp, it appears that Calgary got the cap hit it was seeking but with a shorter term. In the end, everybody involved has to feel like a winner right now.
“As I have always said, I just want to play hockey,” Gaudreau said in a message posted to Twitter. “I want to be there for my teammates and for the fans of Calgary. I want to thank my family and my agent for all their support during this process. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Gaudreau is flat-out one of the most of exciting players in the game today. Gaudreau, 23, led the Flames in goals (30) and assists (48) last season and was tied for sixth in the NHL with 78 points.
Gaudreau became a household name way before he set foot in the National Hockey League, earning the nickname “Johnny Hockey” because of the success he enjoyed at Boston College.
He has not skipped a beat since entering the NHL. In his first full two NHL seasons, Gaudreau has collected 143 points in 160 contests. That includes 55 goals and 88 assists. To many, Johnny Hockey is just hitting his stride. This is an absolute steal for the Calgary organization since he will only continue to get better over the next six years.
Calgary deserves tremendous credit for re-signing Gaudreau for under $7 million. It was definitely worth the wait and the struggle to get such a bargain deal.
Featured Image Credit: Jeff McIntosh-Canadian Press