What Would You Do Wednesday: Does Johnny Gaudreau Stay or Go?

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with a different scenario each week, and you tell us how you’d solve it
in the comments section below. Let’s roll!

The first four games of the 2014-15 season haven’t been all peaches and gravy for Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau. He doesn’t have any points, he’s not getting a heck of a lot of ice-time and he has just one shot on goal. At times he looks a bit lost out there. Heck, he wasn’t used at all in the final six minutes of last night’s game, where he played just a shade over 12 minutes at even-strength.

On the other hand, he’s 21 and has – let’s face it – five NHL games under his belt. There are veterans on this team that seem more lost more consistently than Gaudreau does, and there’s a road trip going on that obviously impacts Bob Hartley’s ability to use Gaudreau how he would like to. But obviously you don’t want Gaudreau to lose confidence, as a lot of Johnny Hockey’s daring do comes from his willingness to go to the tough areas and dangle the puck around opposition players.

Does Johnny stay? Does Johnny go? How many games do you give him in the NHL to figure everything out?

  • MonsterPod

    Patience.

    The question I keep asking is whether Hartley is a good coach for young players.

    He was hard on Backlund last year but got him to come around. I really think Colborne is progressing well and don’t understand all the vitriol aimed at him. Brodie is killing it. Would this be happening under a different coach? Well, we can’t really know.

    It seems that if you do all the little things or underlying things that Hartley wants, eventually you’re rewarded. Right now he’s not getting as much PP time as I’d like and he should not be on his off wing IMO.

    That experiment didn’t work for Raymond and now it’s not working for Gaudreau. Johnny does look a little lost out there but I really think he’s going to figure it out. It’s a system. He needs time. Personally, I hope he never plays a single AHL game.

  • I’m late to the party but after 9 doesn’t it burn a year of his ELC? Maybe now is a good time to send down, let him build some confidence and then bring back up in a couple months to see what you have for 4 more. I think it would be a shame to get 15 games in and realize that he should have been sent down and have burned a year.

    Am I wrong about the ELC?

    • xploD

      Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe due to his age the ELC can’t slide regardless of whether or not he plays in the AHL.

      My $.02 Keep Johnny around AT LEAST for the first 20 games before making any decisions on whether or not to send him down. As previously mentioned let Hartley deploy him how he wants at home, give him the high ground, pp, etc and see how he does.

      To me he looks a bit cautious, like he wants to not make any mistakes and show the coaches he can play at both ends. He gets the puck and gets rid of it quick making the safe play. This is a good thing but with some time he’ll loosen up and the offence will come.

  • xploD

    I thought it seemed fairly easy to see the problem other than actually adjusting and all that.. It’s Colborne, 80% of the time he carries it over the line and goes for a shot or drives the net. The other 20% of the time he just dumps it.

  • Southern_Point

    Saw Johnny in Nashville. I thought he was way over his head from an awareness and physical standpoint. He never picked up a check well, and got lost in the d zone a few times— and I mean really lost… He was so far from where any NHL player should find himself in the d zone. But when you fly around and score goals in college or juniors coaches live with that… But that’s not how it’s played in the big leagues.
    My own opinion is that I question his offense long term if he is so weak and needs to play defense in the lg– not a bust, just a 4th rounder who will spend his life in the minors