Neither Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau nor general manager Brad Treliving will answer questions related to Gaudreau’s contract status during the 2021–22 training camp or regular season, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Tuesday evening in his regular “32 Thoughts” column.
Gaudreau is set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career when his current six-year deal expires in July 2022. Here’s the extent of what Friedman reported on Tuesday:
Word is that Johnny Gaudreau will say at his first media availability that he will not answer questions about his contract status now that training camp has started. GM Brad Treliving told Sportsnet’s Eric Francis this week the team won’t be providing updates, either. Gaudreau is an unrestricted free agent in July. No distractions.
In July, Friedman reported the two sides had “begun extension discussion.” At that time, he guessed the Flames would “probably have to jump over Matthew Tkachuk’s $7 million per season” to consummate a new deal for Gaudreau.
The 28-year-old winger led the 2020–21 edition of the Flames in scoring with 49 points (19 goals, 30 assists) in 56 games.
Prior to the beginning of the 2021 unrestricted free agency period, Gaudreau had no say over his destination in a potential deal. That has since changed: As of July 28, Gaudreau now has an obligation to present the Flames with a list of only five teams to which he would accept a trade.
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Gaudreau currently ranks eighth in Calgary Flames team history—behind only Jarome Iginla, Theo Fleury, Al MacInnis, Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Suter, Mark Giordano, and Gary Roberts—with 494 points (170 goals, 324 assists) in 520 games. A new contract worth more than $7 million per season would make him the highest-paid Flame in the 49-year history of the franchise.