Calgary Flames Sign Johnny Hockey to Six Year 40.5 Million Dollar Deal
The Calgary Flames announced on Monday that they reached an agreement on a six year, 40.5 million-dollar contract with forward Johnny Gaudreau.
The signing means that the Flames will not be without Gaudreau, who was a restricted free agent this summer, as they begin the 2016-2017 National Hockey League season against their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
Flames general manager, Brad Treliving said, “We are thrilled to get a long term deal done with a critical and big core piece of our team. Anybody that follows our team knows what type of talent Johnny is. Those that maybe did not get to see him as much in Calgary I think got a pretty good taste at the World Cup of what type of talent he is.”
He added, “He is a special player and a special talent. To have him locked up for the next six years, it is a great day.”
Gaudreau, the 23-year-old, Salem, New Jersey native led the Flames in goals with 30 and 48 assists during the past season. His 78 points tied him for sixth in the NHL.
On Twitter, Gaudreau announced his decision, giving the Calgary fans a Happy Thanksgiving.
He Tweeted, “I have decided to resign with the Calgary Flames. As I have always said, I just want to play hockey. I want to be there for my teammates and for the fans of Calgary. I want to thank my family and my agent for all of their support during this process. I could not have done it without them.”
Gaudreau’s line mate over the past two seasons, Sean Monahan, recently signed a seven-year deal with the Flames earlier this summer. The two forwards have combined for 112 goals and 155 assists in those two years.
Over the summer “Johnny Hockey” represent Team North America during the World Cup of Hockey. He tied for the team lead with two goals and four points, as he helped his team to a 2-1 record in the tournament.
Treliving said, “Oh, he is excited. He is ecstatic. You can hear it in his voice. He is a hockey player. Not being with his teammates and not getting ready, his first question was, `What time is practice?’ He is excited. He is eager to get back with the teammates, meet the coaches and just be back with the group.”
He added, “That is the thing. At the end of the day when it is all said and done, he is a hockey player. He wants to be at the rink. He wants to be on the ice. He is revered and loved by his teammates. That is where he is. He is excited to get this behind him and get back to playing.”
The Flames will open the new season in Edmonton, as the Oilers open their new home, Rogers Place, and Gaudreau is expected to be ready and in the lineup for his team.
The fourth-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, has scored 55 goals and 88 assists in 160 games. Since the 2014-2015 season, he has the sixth best points-per-game average (0.89) in the league.
His rookie season, only Jiri Hudler, had more points than his 64 for the Flames. He also helped Calgary end a five year Stanley Cup playoff drought. In the 2015 playoffs Gaudreau led the Flames with nine points in 11 games. His four goals tied Hudler for the team lead.
With the signing of Gaudreau by the Flames, only Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell of the Anaheim Ducks, Jacob Trouba of the Winnipeg Jets, Rasmus Ristolainen of the Buffalo Sabres and Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the last five restricted free agents left to be signed by their clubs.