Skip to main content

Blue Jackets Sign Gaudreau to Massive Seven-Year Deal

The Columbus Blue Jackets shocked the hockey world by signing Johnny Gaudreau to a seven-year contract.
USATSI_17595760

Free agent frenzy saved its biggest signing for last. 

In a move that few saw coming, the Columbus Blue Jackets came out of nowhere in the dwindling hours of free agency on Wednesday to sign the biggest fish on the market, shocking the hockey world by agreeing to terms with star forward Johnny Gaudreau on a massive seven-year contract worth an average annual value of $9.7 million. 

After Gaudreau informed the Calgary Flames that he would not be returning to the team that drafted him on Tuesday night and opted instead to hit the open market, the New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, and New York Islanders were all perceived as the favorites to land the sniper, as reports indicated that Gaudreau was intent on signing close to home. 

Then came Columbus, who had been reportedly "lurking" in the hunt for Gaudreau for most of Wednesday afternoon but were not thought to have a chance at actually nabbing him. 

Fast forward a few hours, and Gaudreau is now a Blue Jacket, joining an organization that has had trouble retaining talent in the past and is now ready to make some noise after loading up on young prospects and potential contributors. 

What a whirlwind of events. 

Gaudreau is among the best players to test free agency in recent memory. coming off a season in which he racked up an absurd 40 goals and 75 assists for 115 points while earning serious consideration for the Hart Trophy and leading the Flames to their best season in years. 

The Blue Jackets are not quite as deep as that Flames team was last season, but will assuredly benefit from Gaudreau entering the fold, and, after re-signing their remaining RFAs, should be a contender to return to the postseason for the first time since 2020. 

Free agency is typically known for its chaos, and this certainly fits the bill.

TOP HEADLINES

Marie-Philip Poulin
Play

'Pretty Special': Marie-Philip Poulin Named Canada’s Top Athlete

Marie-Philip Poulin is the first women's hockey player to win the Northern Star Award as Canada's athlete of the year.

Sam Poulin
Play

Penguins' Sam Poulin Taking Leave of Absence for Personal Reasons

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that forward prospect Sam Poulin will be taking a leave of absence from the organization for personal reasons.

Oliver Bonk
Play

Oliver Bonk Breaks Out in London

The 2023 NHL draft prospect spent last season marinating in Jr. B and now he's putting up great numbers for the OHL's Knights.