Former Boston College Hobey Baker winner Johnny Gaudreau is hitting free agency for the first time during his NHL career. The Calgary Flames right winger reportedly "agonized" but declined a massive contract to move closer to home. Gaudreau, originally from New Jersey and with connections to Pennsylvania will be a hot commodity as NHL free agency opens on Wednesday.
“This wasn’t one that was a dollars decision,” said Flames GM Brad Treliving. “I firmly believe there’s nothing more we could’ve done. We respect it. It’s not the decision we wanted to hear, but we respect it.”
Gaudreau, a fourth-round pick by the club in 2011 out of Boston College, put up a career-high 40 goals, 75 assists and 115 points in 2021-22. The six time all star now has 210 goals and 610 total points in his career, one that many have said has become more well rounded as of late. Calgary finished 6th in the conference this season, and made it to the second round of the 2022 NHL Playoffs with Gaudreau scoring the game winner in Games 4 & 7 against Dallas, the second coming in overtime. However, the squad ended up losing to Edmonton in five games in the Battle of Alberta.
There should be a long list of suitors for Gaudreau, who could demand star level money in his deal. The Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers have all been rumored to have interest.
During his time at Boston College, Gaudreau was instrumental in the Eagles last National Championship in 2012. Nicknamed "Johnny Hockey", with a 31-game point streak, tying the Hockey East record, and averaged 2 points per game including what turned into the clinching goal against Ferris State in the championship game.