Calgary Flames, Johnny Gaudreau Nearing Contract Extension
Follow me on Twitter @ToddCordell
The wait is almost over.
After months of negotiations the Calgary Flames and restricted free agent forward Johnny Gaudreau appear close to reaching a contract extension.
TSN's Darren Dreger reports that nothing is imminent just yet but that the two sides are making progress and a deal could be reached within days.
Transcription via TodaysSlapshot.com
“Inching closer to a deal,” Dreger said. “I’m not going to say that it’s imminent. The timing of this is predictable, of course. It’s less about the preseason, and more about being in the lineup for the regular season.
“This is a delicate one. It has been throughout this negotiation. I’m sure Calgary would have preferred to get him under $7 million per year on an extension – a lengthy extension. I think it’s going to be 7-plus.
“But it sounds like it’s going to happen within days.”
As Dreger noted it's no surprise the two sides are beginning to compromise with the season just around the corner. Gaudreau wants to get the best deal possible - anyone would - but he also knows his absence for any amount of time would hurt the Flames' chances of making the playoffs. He doesn't want to miss games any more than the Flames want him to miss games.
In terms of dollars I don't think Gaudreau's number starting with a seven should be a surprise to anyone. The Flames wanted to have him locked up in between Sean Monahan's salary ($6.375M) and Mark Giordano's ($6.75M) but to me that was never realistic. Gaudreau is unquestionably better than Monahan and, unlike Giordano, he would be signing away his prime years. It's also harder than ever to score in today's NHL and Gaudreau still has had no problem piling up the points. Getting the kind of production the Flames get from him is extremely valuable.
You have to pay to keep elite players around and it seems like the Flames are going to come off their stance a bit and do just that. I'll wait until I see the final numbers but Gaudreau in the seven range is more than acceptable, especially if it's in the low sevens.
We'll find out in a few days if that's the case.
Predicting the Pacific Division standings
Flames, Elliott working on contract extension
Pacific Division bold predictions
Hotstove: Pacific Division breakout players
Michael Ferland should score more next season