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Flames Face Cap Challenge as Johnny Gaudreau Looking to Get Paid

Johnny Gaudreau’s contract negotiations are on-going, but there’s a good chance the Flames move him based on what he wants to be paid.

Johnny Gaudreau has said he’d like to remain a member of the Calgary Flames. At the same time, he’s noted that he’s not keen on talking about his current contract negotiations with the organization publicly. As such, insiders can only speculate as to where things stand between the two sides and the current speculation is that Calgary could face some issues getting another deal done.

Related: Red Wings Get Unlucky Losing Jakub Vrana For 4 Months

Gaudreau is entering the final year of a six-year, $40.5 million contract and, for the most part, he’s played far beyond the value of that deal. He is going to be due for a raise and Adam Gretz of NBC SPORTS writes that his next deal could fall in the range of $7.5 million to $8 million per season at a minimum. Frank Seravalli said while doing a spot on Sportsnet 960: “Not suggesting that he doesn’t want to be in Calgary, but my understanding is Johnny Gaudreau wants to be paid and wants to be paid quite well for his services”.

With the news that Gaudreau is willing to stay but wants to get paid, the Flames now have to look at other big pending decisions and figure out where Gaudreau falls in the overall team planning. If he’s not going to be a part of the solution long-term, the Flames will want to explore trade options. The only problem now is that Gaudreau’s no-trade clause has kicked in for this season.

Johnny Gaudreau Calgary Flames
Johnny Gaudreau Calgary Flames

With Gaudreau holding a ton of leverage in these negotiations and with only five teams the Flames are able to talk to if they want to make a deal, things could get complicated for Brad Treliving.

Tkachuk’s Deal Could Play a Huge Factor

Something Treliving will want to look at is what a new deal for Matthew Tkachuk will look like. That contract won’t be easy to get done if the Flames want to keep him. One, he’s arguably Calgary’s best player. Two, he’s notoriously touhg to negotiate with.

Tkachuk has already been public about how his family navigates contract extensions as a unit and this family is more than prepared to hold out for the right deal. Tkachuk, like Gaudreau, is going to want to get paid. If you combine his deal and Gaudreau’s deal, along with knowing that Andrew Mangiapane will need a contract sooner than later, this might all be too much for the Flames in a flat cap NHL.

Is Gaudreau Leaving Inevitable?

Gretz writes:

The path here seems set: Given Gaudreau’s ability to control the trade market the two sides are almost certainly married to each other for this season which puts the Flames in a really tough spot: Trade him to a place of his choosing with reduced leverage, re-sign him, or lose him for nothing. Until there is a solution here it is probably going to be the No. 1 storyline following this team all season.

In the end, the Flames can’t let him leave for little to no return. They’ll need to move him if they can’t come to terms on a new deal or if the organization feels not everyone fits. Whichever teams Gaudreau has on his list — the Philadelphia Flyers are likely one — the Flames need to work out deals with all those teams and be prepared to move on one before the season is out.

Next: Jack Campbell Says There Are No Excuses for Maple Leafs This Season



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