By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Johnny Gaudreau was the top free agent on the NHL free agent market. There was a lot of speculation that he would sign with the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Salem, New Jersey native grew up a Flyers fan. However, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said that the team could not sign him due to their cap structure.
Gaudreau signed a seven-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. This was a shocker when it was announced.
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It is believed that Gaudreau will receive $9.75 million per season. The overall package is believed to be $68.25 million. The contract is awaiting league approval.
“Johnny Gaudreau is a superstar in the National Hockey League, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the Columbus Blue Jackets family,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a news release. “He is an elite player with great character that makes the players around him better. We are thrilled to add a player of his caliber to our group. This is an exciting day for our franchise, our fans, and the city of Columbus.”
He spent the last nine seasons with the Calgary Flames. The Flames drafted him in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
He appeared in a career-high 82 games this past season. This was just the second time in his career that he appeared in 82 games, which also came during the 2018-19 season.
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With the Flames, he appeared in 602 games. He had 210 goals and 399 assists for 609 points.
“We did everything possible to keep John here,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. “It’s my strong belief that this is a family decision, and I respect that fully.”
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