Has Johnny Gaudreau performed his final sport with the Flames?

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The Battle of Alberta is over. What a collection. It’s a disgrace it couldn’t have gone seven video games. The Edmonton Oilers advance to the Western Convention closing, whereas the Calgary Flames should stare down some tough offseason questions now. Most significantly: will celebrity left winger Johnny Gaudreau, an unrestricted free agent, re-sign?

That’s the subject of this week’s Every day Faceoff Roundtable: has ‘Johnny Hockey’ performed his closing sport in a Flames uniform?

SCOTT BURNSIDE: Oh this can be a powerful one. Gaudreau completed tied for second in league scoring throughout the common season with 115 factors. And extra importantly for us, he earned excessive reward from old-school coach (and Jack Adams Award frontrunner) Darryl Sutter for the completeness of his sport. In each sense, Gaudreau answered the bell throughout this his contract season. True, the Flames fell brief within the playoffs, bowing out in 5 video games to Edmonton, however Gaudreau was as soon as once more a frontrunner for the Flames with 14 factors in 12 video games, though his star was dimmed by Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane within the just-completed Battle of Alberta. We noticed much more from Gaudreau on this playoff 12 months than now we have previously and thus it’s exhausting to think about there isn’t a powerful want on each side to see this relationship proceed. What’s going to it price? Heaps. North of $9 million per 12 months relying on the time period the 2 sides can choose. Simple for critics to recommend the group has gained little with Gaudreau within the fold, and it’s true on some ranges. However this 12 months appeared to be a nook turned when it comes to Gaudreau’s total sport. And should you determine to let him stroll, the place do you discover these 115 factors? And at what price? Nope. So long as Johnny Hockey desires to be a Flame I see zero motive to not make it so.

CHRIS GEAR: I’m with Scott on this one – the place there’s a will, there’s a approach. If Johnny Hockey had pulled one other playoff disappearing act this 12 months, it might need been time to half methods. He would have been that man that performs nice within the common season however can’t enable you to win when it counts. That wasn’t the case right here. Gaudreau performed exhausting, performed nicely and had some large targets in these playoffs, together with the time beyond regulation collection winner in opposition to the Stars. His group simply ran right into a freight prepare with a few superstars who refused to be denied. I’ve written a few occasions already this 12 months on how tough it will likely be for the Flames to maintain this group collectively, with RFAs Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington to be signed along with Gaudreau. It is going to be a monumental process to suit all of their weapons in beneath the cap, however until Johnny desires to depart or prioritizes cash above all else, I feel he and the group discover a technique to hold him in Flames colours. 

MATT LARKIN: Recreation 5 is not going to go down as Gaudreau’s closing sport as a Flame. Not when the Flames confirmed a lot potential in 2021-22. Till the wheels fell off goaltender Jacob Markstrom throughout the Battle of Alberta, Calgary appeared like a reputable Stanley Cup risk for many of this season, and Gaudreau fashioned one of many sport’s elite traces with Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk. Loads of hypothesis will hyperlink Gaudreau to his childhood group – which, to set the document straight, is the Philadelphia Flyers, not the New Jersey Devils, as Gaudreau is a South Jersey boy – however signing with a group like Philly would set Gaudreau’s championship aspirations again years. He’s solely 28. He has sufficient time left to signal a profitable long-term cope with Calgary, compete for championships and then take pleasure in a homecoming with the Flyers on the contract after this one if it’s what he actually desires. However proper now? There’s an excessive amount of good to stroll away from in Calgary. The Flames have constructed one thing promising right here.

MIKE MCKENNA: If I needed to guess, I feel Gaudreau stays in Calgary. However it might solely be 60/40. Numerous it is determined by his teammates. Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane each want new contracts. There are holes on protection going into subsequent season. If Tkachuk and Gaudreau actually take pleasure in taking part in with each other and consider they’ll carry Calgary to a Stanley Cup, they should make a pact much like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in Chicago. Or Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh. There might be actual choices for Gaudreau – certainly one of which being his hometown Philadelphia Flyers. If the Flyers are in a position to land a coach like Barry Trotz, does that have an effect on Gaudreau’s determination? I don’t assume cash goes to be the basis of his subsequent contract. Certain, it issues. However the Flames will do what it takes to maintain Gaudreau if he desires to remain. Additionally, think about Darryl Sutter. Regardless of the success of the Flames this season, Sutter’s teaching model is demanding. It wears on gamers. And in all chance, Gaudreau’s subsequent contract would outlive Sutter’s time with the Flames. However I feel what it boils right down to is that this: Gaudreau is coming off the very best 12 months of his profession on a really aggressive group. It could be an enormous gamble going some other place. I feel he stays. In all probability.

FRANK SERAVALLI: My head says he might be again, however my intestine says no. The 2 sides agreed to place off talks way back, and my feeling is Gaudreau has come this far and shouldered the entire danger taking part in out a contract 12 months, that it solely is sensible for him to get a really feel for the market earlier than deciding. Finally, I’ve all the time seen Gaudreau as somebody who would relatively play nearer to house, and it will likely be fascinating to see how he handles the emotional push-and-pull of making an attempt to determine whether or not to say goodbye to the one NHL house he has ever identified. He’s such a proficient participant and he’s shouldered the burden of Calgary’s playoff disappointments, a few of which have been deserved, a few of which haven’t. Finally, I don’t see Gaudreau taking any type of hometown low cost to remain. And Gaudreau goes to be costly. The Flames have the higher hand in that they’re the one group that may supply eight years and thus have the benefit in whole {dollars}. If the {dollars} are equal, and I consider Calgary will pony up, then he has an honest shot to stay a Flame. If not, I feel Gaudreau might be taking part in south of the 49th.
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