Flames re-sign Johnny Gaudreau to six-year deal, $6.75 million per

At long last, it’s over.

After qualifying just four restricted free agents back in June – over three months ago – all four of them have been signed.

Johnny Gaudreau has his second contract with the Flames. It’s for six years, and it’s worth an annual average value of $6.75 million: Mark Giordano’s contract to a tee.

It is, unequivocally, a total steal.


Oh my god somebody please teach Johnny the difference between “resign” and “re-sign”, that’s not at all horrifying.

Gaudreau is coming off of his sophomore season in the NHL – one that saw him score 30 goals and 78 points in 79 games. It’s a buildup from his rookie season, in which he scored 24 goals and 60 points in 80 games.

Which is, in turn, a buildup from his junior year of college, in which he scored 80 points in 40 games, which is a buildup from his time as a sophomore, in which he scored 51 points in 35 games, which is a buildup from his time as a freshman, in which he scored 44 points in 44 games, which is a buildup from his draft year in the USHL, during which he scored 72 points in 60 games…

And it somehow took until the 104th pick for someone to take him.

The point here is: all Gaudreau has done, every single year of his hockey playing career, dating back to at least 2005-06, is improve, and dramatically, at that. We aren’t even entirely sure what his ceiling is, because he has never hit anything resembling one.

In his rookie season with the Flames, he was the team’s second-highest scorer. In his second season, he became the highest scorer by 15 points, and that was while playing alongside an offensively talented sixth overall draft pick. He’s already one of the most electrifying scorers in the game, he’s pretty much the player to watch when it comes to 3-on-3 overtime, and he’s extremely durable, to boot; he’s missed literally two (meaningless) games in his career due to injury, and that’s it. 

It took him two seasons to be a top-10 scorer in the NHL. At least 80 points for him this season isn’t out of the question; it’s probably something you can bet on. Bovada went ahead and gave him 33/1 odds to win the Art Ross and 40/1 odds to win the Hart, because why not? 

He’s 10th in scoring amongst his draft class, and everyone above him has played 50-200 more games than he has. Sean Couturier has played 190 more games than Gaudreau. He’s scored 14 more points than he has. He’s going to be passed. Gabriel Landeskog has the most points out of the entire 2011 draft class: 103 more than Gaudreau in 196 more games played. Gaudreau is 17 points off from being a career point per game player. And he wasn’t taken until 104th overall, because at the time of his draft he was listed as 5’6″ and 137 lbs. at the time.

The kid whose size prompted unnecessary questions every time he went up a level in competition has earned a $40.5 million contract, and he’s probably going to be worth more than that as early as this season. He’s well on his way to already becoming the Flames’ next franchise player.

The five players who managed to score more points than Gaudreau in 2015-16 have cap hits of $10.5 million, $5.25 million (to be bumped up to $9.5 million after this season), $8.7 million, $6.75 million, and $6.5 million. Gaudreau is younger than all of them, and he’s just getting started.

In Calgary. Soon we’ll get to see what he can do in new systems, under a new coach, as he continues to get better because this is only his third year in the NHL and the team around him is growing, too.

It’s going to be a fun six years. That buys up one year of free agency for Gaudreau, so his next contract is probably going to be massive if he fulfills his projections. But that’s a while from now – and for now, the times are extremely good.

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    Boy did he get ripped off!!!

    Let’s see if he can hold up his end of the deal. As soon as he is in a slump out come the boo birds.6.75$ is a good deal for Calgary.

    • Sure did. Your elite top goal scorer, the guy putting fans in over priced seats during a huge economic downturn, getting less than a defenceman 30+ that had one pretty decent year. Flames are cheap skates.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        Well said, other than the building will be sold out all year.people are and will be filling that arena, overpriced or not. Some cities can still afford it.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      How many games did McJezzub play without points last year? Two against the Flames, right? Did the boobirds come out for him?

      Johnny’s slumps are quickly followed by multi-point games or game winning goals.

        • FlamesFanOtherCity

          He was such a force in the 5-0 loss to the Flames to end the season. You are right, there is only one McDavid because he is generational. If he manages to put up similar number to Gaudreau in two full seasons, then he too will get a $6.75m contract. Oh, right, the Oilers pay almost that for a guy like Lucic.

          I can’t believe that the Oilers are going to give a spot in the lineup to Poolparty. As if he has earned a spot in the lineup. Right, he got a hatty against the UoA Golden Bears.

        • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

          Just because Connor McDavid plays for the Edmonton Oilers doesn’t make the city of Edmonton great. It just means that McDavid has to live in a sh*thole of a city during the hockey season and be cheered for by a bunch of toothless, inbred morons.

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      Wouldn’t miss it! It’s nice knowing we’ll have that little wizard in the game who outplayed McWorldonhisshoulders at the world cup.

      c’mon man… your own RexLibris picked the Flames to finish higher than the oilers this year (again)… I mean I realize this is your only time of the year you can talk trash, but be reasonable.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        No Wally it refers to how spectacular he is and how much everyone outside of Calgary knows he will be the best and most exciting player in the league this year.

        • Bob's Hockey Stick

          Cept everyone even media already know the best player in the league is that number 87 guy in Pittsburgh,… you know Crosby!. Ya that guy… Connor McBroken did sweet nuthing at the world cup did little last year. He didn’t even win the Calder. So he wasn’t the best rookie either.

          Now Johnny signed , great let’s roll and see how the season goes.Great deal for the Flames.

          • madjam

            Crosby out with a concussion to start year . Good to see Flames signed Gaudreau to a new reasonable contract . Now Flames can’t blame losses on not having him in lineup . Good for Flames and Canadian teams alike . BOA soon to start heating up .

        • Brent G.

          It’s neat watching you coming on here to troll, knowing very well this is an outstanding signing and presents a real threat to your sh!t team. Must be hard watching a really good GM of your rival team completely overshadow everything PC has done; McD was nothing more than dumb luck. Congrats!

          I don’t think you have a leg to stand on. The Flames have been to the playoffs in the last decade, and your watching your team trade away a top 5 LW in the game for a glorified 3/4 defensive defenseman. Turning first overalls into a conditional 3rd rounder, and paying Sekera like he’s a 1/2 defender.

          If anything you should be happy Trelivng is stealing the spotlight. When he doesn’t everyone just focuses on how terrible PC’s moves have been for the worst team in the NHL for the past 10 years. Probably best you keep all of that in mind…

          • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

            Yak was a non performer and from what it sounds like Hall had created a division in the room, so yes it’s addition by subtraction.edmonton has made many nice moves in the last year and this is the first time I have said this but I believe they will get the 8th place.
            Lucic , McDavid,Maroon,Kassian ,Russell,Puljujarvi,Talbot,Versteeg,and Larsson . Enough to get them in the playoffs!!

          • FlamesFanOtherCity

            Funny, it sure sounded like the coach talked about Eberle’s lack of playing with any conviction. Chia can spin it any way he likes to take away from the player and make it sound like Larsson for Hall was more than just getting a defenseman for the leading scorer.

            Funny how you talk about Pulju, considering that most EDM bloggers suggest he was both invisible in the pre-season and undeserving of a roster spot.

            Every year in the offseason we hear the bold predictions. Every US Thanksgiving we hear the excuses. You still haven’t resolved the issue with being last in the league in defensive scoring. Russell won’t fix that, nor will Larsson. Lucic offers some size to a team that doesn’t know how to use it. It’s not like you get the same Lucic from BOS or LA.

            You have the same goalie this year, except you added the monster. It doesn’t sound like an improvement.

            Lucic will be there to pound a player that crushes McDavid. And he will take more penalties than the feeble Oiler PK ca handle. Play McDavid on the PK too; I’m sure he will be just as good as he was in the WCG. Maybe Russell can teach him how to block shots with his feet, and how to tough it out when his feet have huge bruises,

            Will be hearing from you likely ntil around the end of November, when Oiler fans disappear.

        • Willi P

          Sorry Train (78)

          Collar McBroken wasn’t even the best Oiler on team NA during the tourney, let alone the best player. Why don’t you Oiler fans and Oil media let this guy develop and play before anointing him after one half of one season…oh right, you can’t. So desperate to make things happen that you will wreck another high POTENTIAL young player by putting to much pressure on them. See Hall, Taylor. The Oil, Most Pathetic Sports Franchise, EVER.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        You really think that? The other guys played good and got some points but McDavid was the most electrifying player there.

        Actually read an article in the Calgary sun which stated Gaudreau was the most exciting player there who wasn’t named McDavid!!

        • TheoForever

          So, what you are saying is that McDaigle is VISUALLY most exiting player, points be damned. Copperfield, and his disappearing act couldn’t have topped the McDavid disappearance act, impressed…

        • jupiter

          Yea I really do think that! Conner has all the tools and will be an exceptional player for a long time in this league, but was not the best player in that tournament. Ignore all the hype and just appreciate the kid and his obvious skills.

        • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

          Wow this is some serious Edmonton homer BS. Johnny gaudreau and Nathan McKinnon carried team NA. Mcdavid showed some flashes but get real man, he lacked finish and discipline. He’s only 19 though so obviously he’s gonna be phenomenal but that wasn’t his tournament. That being said your attempts to hijack yet another Flames nation thread to talk about mcdavid are getting tiresome. Take that shizz back to oily town

  • KACaribou

    Johnny and his agent and family got schooled in the art of the deal by Tree, who learned from his dad no doubt.

    No he’s probably not happy about that.

    “I’ve decided to re-sign with the Calgary Flames”? What other choice did you have, son?

    No doubt JH could have got more if he were somewhere else, but I believe getting paid in American dollars but spending it in Canada with conversion is a good thing.

    Regardless: he will make roughly $82,317 per game; or spread over a year $132,352 per week. Not sure how your business is doing these days, but that’s a pretty good paycheque to be pouty.

  • Franko J

    Good job by BT in signing Gaudreau. Although it took longer than expected and I was worried that JG might miss the first few games, I’m excited to see the start of season for the Flames with a strong competitive lineup in place.

  • Canadian Hockey Fan

    Very good signing by the Flames. Calgary is lucky to keep him at that price. Hopefully they can continue to build around him and Monahan. The Flames definitely have a great chance to make the playoffs this season. Would be nice to see them claim Parenteau off waivers. He’d look good on the first line.

  • FireScorpion

    As much as I hate to pound my own chest.I recall saying the announcement would be on Thanksgiving between mouthfuls of turkey and stuffing

    And we are ALL thankful for Johnny Hockey

  • freethe flames

    With Johnny signed and Bollig waived what is the Flames cap situation? Can they afford any of the players on waivers? I know that the teams with the poorest records from last year get first crack on the waiver wire but the Leafs, Oilers, Canucks can’t claim every one. Can anyone clearly explain how the waiver claim works. I also believe that a team cannot send someone to the minors that they claimed immediately.

    • Baalzamon

      I’m not clear on waiver order either, but I can clarify your last sentence. Players claimed on waivers have to be waived again before they can be demoted. Waiver-eligible players have to clear before they can be reassigned, and a waiver claim does not count as clearing waivers.

      Bollig being waived has no effect on the cap. Until he (and Vey) are demoted, their full cap hit still counts. When (if?) Bollig is demoted, his cap hit will be reduced by 925K.

    • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

      With Bollig waived, if he is sent down, we SHOULD have 1.4 mil in space. That’s before LTIR for Schmid (which we can’t use now anyway). My understanding is if you claim them they have to go on your roster for at least 10 games before you send them down…. anyone care to correct me? I could be wrong……

    • T&A4Flames

      Just to add to this, I believe that once a team wins a claim, they get put to the back of the line on a future claim. For example, CAR claimed Frk yesterday so if they put in a claim on a player that a team ahead in the standings also claimed, CAR would lose out on that claim.

      CGY should certainly try to claim Pulkinnan or possibly PAP. Nobody else stepped up and took a top 6 RW role. May as well try someone else.

      • supra steve

        That being the case, you’re also gambling that no one better will be placed on waivers tomorrow or the next day, if you make and win a claim today. Could be they want one of these guys, or could be they are expecting someone “better” gets waived in the next few days.

  • Stu Cazz

    This may have been mentioned already….Johnny Gaudreau contract:

    2016-17: $3M SB, $3.75M salary
    17-18: $6.75M
    18-19: $6.75M
    19-20: $6.75M
    20-21: $3.5M SB, $3.25M
    21-22: $6.75M

    Johnny Gaudreau’s deal includes a five-team trade list for the final season. He picks where he can be dealt.

  • Nighteyes

    McDavid and Gaudreau are both amazing and exciting players, who I am excited to watch light up the league for a long time. The BoA should become more and more fun to watch as they represent their respective teams.

  • reidja

    Ari, great synopsis but you missed a few past accomplishments that are worth restating: USHL Clark Cup Champion (2011), NCAA Champion (2012), Hockey East Champion (2013), World Junior Gold (2013), Hobey Baker (2014), NHL All-Rookie (2015), NHL All Star (2016).

    It’s a fantastic day to be a Flames fan. Thank you Johnny, I can’t wait to see you do what you do. Hallelujah! Good night! Happy Thanksgiving!

    (P.S. My current fav jersey is my Johnny Team NA dark and I won’t be wearing anything else to games until the New Year)

  • Macindoc

    This essentially works out to 6.25M/yr for 5 RFA years and 9.25M/yr for 1 UFA year, or alternatively 6.5M/yr for RFA and 8M for UFA. Very fair to both the team and Gaudreau. The best part is that it should give the Flames the ability to sign a top shelf goaltender next year, sign Bennett to a long-term 6-6.5M deal, and maybe Tkachuk to something similar the following year. To those who call this an underpay, I would argue that this deal is at exactly market value, considering the number of RFA and UFA years, although Gaudreau’s agent obviously tried to convince him that the market did not apply to him. If the deal had been for 8 years, it likely would have had to be 6.25 X 5 + 9.25 X 3 = 59M, or an AAV of 7.375M. In a way, the term is also smart for both sides, protecting both in the case that Gaudreau’s development does not follow the expected course (whether we find that he has already hit his plateau, or that he continues to progress and becomes a multi-year top 3 scorer). His contract is also perfectly timed to expire at the same time as Gio’s contract, so we should have some more money at that time to re-sign him if it is in the best interests of both Johnny and the Flames. And who knows, if we have some success along the way and show future promise of being a strong contender, Johnny may decide that Calgary feels like home, that he wants to stay with the teammates/friends he has played with for 8 years, and that the lure of the Stanley Cup is his strongest motivator.

  • OKG

    It is all coming together Gentlemen and Ladies. Elliott is a top 5 goalie by every sensible metric. Gulutzan coaches a true shot suppression system but still emphasizes speed. Gaudreau is back. Bennett is looking like our real #1C already. Gio looks great, 2nd best D in the league according to Sportsnet Analytic Rankings. Brodie will win the Norris with his incredible two way package. Hamilton will have another 45+ point season. Monahan and Backlund are both contrasting, yet perfectly complementary 2Cs. One the power play specialist 50 pt guy (who with Gaudreau is a lock for 65+) the other the PK specialist who is good for 45-55 a season with any decent wingers. Chad Johnson and Jon Gillies are enviable #2 / #3 goalies to boot.

    Prospects like Jankowski, Kylington, Tkachuk, and Kulak look poised to make an impact by February, March, April, May, June. The combination of Ryan Huska and Glen Gulutzan did wonders with Jamie Benn, so why not these kids?

    This is a Stanley Cup contender and I am not afraid to be the first homer to say it out loud. We are strong at Center, elite at Defense, and elite in net. We are the class of the west along with the Sharks. The biggest threat to our cup hopes is Sidney Crosby. Not Martin St Louis. Not JS Giguere. Not Pavel Datsyuk. Not Joe Thornton. Not Keith/Kane/Toews. Not the Habs making the playoffs with less points than us while we miss out as the better team.

    None of those. We are finally ready. Built right. Young. Big. Fast. Hungry. Balanced. Skilled.

  • Skeittari78

    How about Pulkkinen for, say, 800k? A right-handed shot, two very productive stints in AHL. We could use some 3rd line scoring and find out his capability to play on NHL level.

    • freethe flames

      I have been going through the numbers; The Flames currently have @513 in cap space, @925 for Bollig being sent down and if they send Vey down another 700 giving them a total of @2.1m. Let’s remember they have to be cap compliant by 5 p.m. tonight and they need to be as close to the cap as possible to maximize cap relief for Smid. At 813k Pulkkinen both meets a team need and a cap requirement as would adding Parenteau at 1.25. We will know more as the day comes along; players picked up on waivers will soon be announced and others may be added as well.