On Tuesday, news surfaced that Calgary Flames star forward Johnny Gaudreau was not coming back to the team. It was a shocking development considering it has appeared recently that the Flames were doing everything in their power to retain the 28-year-old left winger. After the news broke, Flames general manager Brad Treliving left his impressions of the decision.
“We did everything possible to keep him here. It's a family decision and we respect that fully,” Treliving said. “I am not going to speak for Johnny, but I will say he is going to be a dad in the upcoming months and this was a decision for his family that I have to respect”. He went on to say that it was a disappointing day and wished the superstar the best in the future.
Johnny Gaudreau made it clear that he wants to test the free agency waters. “Johnny Hockey” as he has come to be known, is coming off of a fantastic season. The former Flames winger finished tied for second in the NHL with 115 points. He scored 40 goals and had 75 assists.
It's very likely that Gaudreau will command a large price on the open market. He is in the middle of his career and has shown throughout his career to be a consistent scoring option. It certainly a big setback for Calgary though. They won the Pacific Division last season and were the number two seed in the Western Conference.
Replacing a player the caliber of Johnny Gaudreau will not be easy.