NHL Insider talks pending UFA Johnny Gaudreau's next contract

Mike Armenti
January 25, 2022  (5:37 PM)

There are certainly some interesting names that are due for new contracts in the summer of 2022 and one of those players is Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau. Johnny Hockey is currently in the final year of a 6-year, $40.5M contract, which carries a $6.75M AAV, per CapFrienly.

DFO's Frank Seravalli provided some insight on Tuesday as to what pending UFA Johnny Gaudreau's next contract might look like during an appearance on Sportsnet 960's Boomer in the Morning, but he also cautioned that there are a lot of variables to consider.
The measuring stick for Gaudreau's next contract, as proposed to Seravalli on the program, could be somewhere in the neighborhood of Kirill Kaprizov's 5-year, $45M deal ($9M AAV), and while Gaudreau is almost 4 years Kaprizov's senior, the two are producing at an almost identical rate this season.
"You have to look at what years you're buying.. in this case, it's apples to oranges. With Kaprizov, you're buying his 24 to 28-year-old seasons. Gaudreau's next contract starts with [his 28-year-old] season," Seravalli pointed out. He believes Gaudreau's salary on his new deal will depend heavily on the term.
"Is it possible that he gets into the $9M's? Yeah, it is. But I still think, maybe the $7M-$7.75 that Steve Greely had pegged for us at the beginning of the year ends up being a tad light. But if you're talking a 7-year deal, is it 7x$8M? Is it 7x$8.5M? Does he end up staying in Calgary and get the 8th year? There's a lot that goes into it, but I'd be surprised if the number starts with a 9," he concluded.
At the end of the day, Kaprizov's deal runs through his prime years, whereas Gaudreau's deal will begin at or near the end of his prime so, to Seravalli's point, it's unfair to compare the two, even though they're producing at the same rate this season (47 and 48 points, respectively, in 37 games apiece).
It has long been rumoured that Gaudreau could be looking to sign with the team that he grew up cheering for in the Philadelphia Flyers, but so far, everything Gaudreau has stated publicly has pointed towards him wanting to remain in Calgary. We'll have to see how this one goes, but if Gaudreau and the Flames do not appear to be closing the gap in their contract negotiations by the March 21st trade deadline, it will be interesting to see whether the Flames look to move the 28-year-old, or keep him for the postseason and risk losing him for nothing in free agency.
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