November 30, 2022

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The Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday agreed to phrases with star ahead Johnny Gaudreau on a seven-year contract, the group introduced, touchdown NHL free company’s largest identify in a shocking transfer.

Gaudreau’s take care of the Blue Jackets is for $68.25 million, carrying a mean annual worth of $9.75 million towards the NHL wage cap.

The 28-year-old left wing spent all 9 of his NHL seasons with the Calgary Flames, scoring 609 factors in 602 video games. He had a profession excessive 115 factors final season in 82 video games, which included a career-best 40 targets. He’s completed fourth within the NHL MVP voting in two of the previous 4 seasons.

“Johnny Gaudreau is a celebrity within the Nationwide Hockey League, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the Columbus Blue Jackets household,” Columbus normal supervisor Jarmo Kekalainen mentioned in a information launch. “He’s an elite participant with nice character that makes the gamers round him higher. We’re thrilled so as to add a participant of his caliber to our group. That is an thrilling day for our franchise, our followers and town of Columbus.”

Gaudreau knowledgeable the Flames this week that he wouldn’t re-sign with them. Calgary spared no expense in making an attempt to convey again their franchise star, placing an eight-year take care of a mean annual worth of greater than $10 million per season on the desk.

“We did the whole lot potential to maintain John right here,” Flames normal supervisor Brad Treliving mentioned. “It’s my sturdy perception that this can be a household resolution, and I respect that absolutely.” Gaudreau is anticipating a toddler together with his spouse, Meredith Morris, within the coming months, Treliving added.

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With Gaudreau hitting the free agent market, three groups got here to the forefront for the South Jersey native’s companies: The Philadelphia Flyers, who had been Gaudreau’s favourite group as a toddler, the New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders.

The Flyers tried to clear house to signal Gaudreau however had been unable to take action.

“We don’t have the house to pursue these high-end free brokers,” Flyers normal supervisor Chuck Fletcher mentioned. “I talked to a number of groups about possibly getting cap flexibility. We checked out some completely different choices. The worth of shifting contracts is actually costly.”

After the NHL’s free agent market formally opened at midday on Wednesday, there have been rumors that the Blue Jackets had been getting concerned within the Gaudreau derby.

There had been hypothesis that Columbus can be an aggressive group this offseason. Kekalainen watched his group wrestle by means of two non-playoff seasons, having traded away veteran gamers like Seth Jones, Cam Atkinson, David Savard, Nick Foligno and Max Domi. The Blue Jackets had been in talks with the Tampa Bay Lightning about defenseman Ryan McDonagh earlier than he was traded to the Nashville Predators.

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