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Can the Calgary Flames Afford To Sign Johnny Gaudreau?

Johnny Gaudreau is enjoying a career-best performance in his contract year. While that's good for him and the team, it could become an expensive off-season for the Calgary Flames.
Johnny Gaudreau

Johnny Gaudreau is enjoying a career-best performance in his contract year, sitting third in NHL scoring with 108 points. That output ensures the 28-year-old left winger will be very expensive for the Calgary Flames to re-sign.

Flames general manager Brad Treliving told the Calgary Sun's Wes Gilbertson he'd “move heaven and earth and do everything we possibly can” to keep Gaudreau in Calgary. TSN's Pierre LeBrun pointed out the two sides agreed to shelve their contract discussions until the end of the season. He also complimented them on not letting this situation become a distraction.

Cap Friendly indicates Gaudreau is completing a six-year contract with an annual average value of $6.75 million. Sportsnet's Rory Boylen recently speculated he could get between $8.5 million and $9- million annually on his next deal.

Gaudreau's performance this season could push his asking price closer to $10 million annually. Perhaps Treliving will pitch the benefits of an eight-year deal to convince him to accept something closer to $9 million.

Gilbertson and Boylen also observed wingers Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane are restricted free agents with arbitration rights this summer. Tkachuk has an annual cap hit of $7 million but his actual salary this season is $9 million, which is what it'll cost the Flames to qualify his rights.

Treliving won't have to move heaven and earth to sign Gaudreau but he will have to shed a contract or two to make it happen.

Boylen suggested it could cost $23 million to sign those three, leaving the Flames with little cap space to fill out the remainder of their roster. He recommended buying out Sean Monahan's contract provided the 27-year-old center is eligible after undergoing season-ending hip surgery.



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