TSN Insider Pierre LeBrun noted during the latest Insider Trading said there is still no news to report on Calgary Flames pending UFA Johnny Gaudreau. The Flames have tabled an offer — some suggesting in the eight years and $9.5 million per year range — and he’s not responded. In fact, word is that Gaudreau has not given the Calgary Flames any indication as to what his intentions are.
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Many believe his plan is to test free agency. The Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils are reportedly among the teams that might have interest. If he chooses to hear their respective offers, that puts the Flames in a bit of a tricky spot. LeBrun notes:
“We’re a week away from the draft. We’ve said before that the Calgary Flames would be nervous letting this drag out all the way to the opening a free agency in the sense that probably they have to start pivoting here soon if they don’t think they’re going to be able to re-sign Johnny Gaudreau.”
LeBrun believes that Gaudreau doesn’t want to rule out the Flames, but that’s he’s interested in seeing what the offers are like in free agency and will go with the one he likes best. That doesn’t rule out Calgary, but it’s a lot to ask for the Flames to hold onto hope that Gaudreau doesn’t get a better or more enticing offer and not get anything in return in trade. The Flames simply want an idea as to where the player’s head is at so they can react accordingly.
If he doesn’t circle back to Calgary, expect the team to go heavy into the free agency market to look for a replacement player.
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