Calgary Flames fans will be anxiously waiting for Johnny Gaudreau to decide on where he wants to end his career.
It’s been a long time since Calgary Flames fans have hoped a superstar re-signed with their team. The last big name was forward Jarome Iginla but he never dipped in free agency. He was shipped to the Boston Bruins and only signed a one-day contract to retire with Calgary.
But this year is different. Forward Johnny Gaudreau put up career highs in practically every category. He put up 40 goals, 75 assists for 115 points, and an astonishing plus 64. Every stat shattered whatever career-high he mustered up over nine years.
There was some concern in the offseason when head coach Darryl Sutter took over. Sutter, as we know, is a hard-nosed coach. He doesn’t care about a lot of things besides winning and playing good hockey. Gaudreau and the core of the Flames hadn’t had a Sutter-style coach. Sure Bob Hartley and Bill Peters had some toughness in them, but nothing compared to Sutter.
As it turns out, Sutter and Gaudreau were the perfect pair. The Flame’s core needed some tough love. And, along with Gaudreau, Sutter got the best out of everyone including forward Matthew Tkachuk.
The six-year Flames vet also rang up career highs in goals with 42, and assists with 62 which tallies up to 104 points and a plus 54. He’s also potentially on the move as a restricted free agent. If a team decides to send Tkachuk an offer this offseason and the Flames don’t match it, he would be off to that new team. Calgary would also receive some compensation as well.
Flames fans don’t want to think about a life without Tkachuk or Gaudreau. However, we’re in a salary cap world and there’s a chance one or both don’t come back.
So where will Johnny Hockey end up this offseason?