The opening of free agency is just a couple weeks away and if there’s one thing that fans of the Calgary Flames want to know about, it’s the future of star forward Johnny Gaudreau. On Monday’s edition of the DFO Rundown with Frank Seravalli and Jason Gregor, Seravalli had an update on what’s happening with Gaudreau’s camp and the Flames.
In short: there’s dialogue happening, but not quite full-fledged negotiations.
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Here’s the rundown from Frank:
I think the longer this goes on with Johnny Gaudreau, I have to imagine if you’re the Flames and you’re Brad Treliving you’re sitting there with a pretty sick feeling at the moment. Thinking that you’ve done everything that you can and yet you’ve gotten basically next to no response to this point. I think they’ve remained in dialogue and they’ve remained in communication, and I think Johnny Gaudreau’s camp has said all of the right things, but we’re approaching July 1st on Friday. July 13th is when free agency opens. You’ve made your pitch. It’s been five weeks since you’ve been eliminated. If you don’t know by now that you want to come back, if you don’t know by now that you want to get married, I don’t know, what’s going to possibly change that in the next two weeks?
In Gregor and Seravalli’s discussions, it was noted that the Flames have an advantage of sorts in this process, as under the collective bargaining agreement the Flames are the only team that can offer Gaudreau an eight-year deal.
In explaining the situation, Seravalli framed the situation very succinctly as such:
This really is not about money for Johnny Gaudreau. My belief is they’ve flat-out told him that and just said ‘look, you tell us that you want to be here, and we’ll figure out the money.’ The money is of no concern here because of their ability to offer that eighth year. Like, do the math. If you offer eight years times $10 million, that’s $80 million. Another team that can only offer seven would have to give you $11.4 [million] to equal that. $11.4 [million] times seven. It’s a huge advantage and it’s a huge card that they have to play, but to this point he’s said he wants to come to Calgary, but until he actually engages in negotiation and until they actually get it done, well, that’s a different story. He’s in that process, the discernment process, of ‘Am i coming back here? Am I going to play and have my number hanging in the rafters, or am I going to go and get a fresh start somewhere else?’ It’s purely lifestyle based, I think, and what he wants to do next in his career.
The Flames can offer Gaudreau an eight-year deal up until 9:59 p.m. MT on July 12. Unrestricted free agency opens league-wide at 10 a.m. MT on July 13.
Check out the DFO Rundown over at Daily Faceoff, as well as anywhere you get your podcasts.
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