from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Johnny Gaudreau’s stunning big-bucks touchdown in Columbus on Wednesday could serve as an interesting road map if David Pastrnak opts to play out the final season of his contract for a crack at the UFA market next July.
Speculation in recent days was that “Pasta” and general manager Don Sweeney will settle on an eight-year extension long before then, perhaps even before September training camp. Even then, Gaudreau’s experience — and the limited market he was left to consider — could factor in Pastrnak’s approach.
In the end, Gaudreau secured the richest deal of this year’s UFA period, ringing the bell for $9.75 million over each of the next seven seasons. Upon agreeing to terms Wednesday night, Johnny Hockey ranked 16th on the league’s top-20 pay list, just a smidge behind ex-Bruins winger Tyler Seguin’s $9.85 million (for five more seasons). Edmonton’s Connor McDavid rightly leads the payroll parade with a $12.5 million AAV.
Truth is, though, the market for Gaudreau was rather small, in part because he turned down a longer, richer deal offered by Calgary. Flames management, reported to have offered eight years at $10.5 million per, was left to believe that he wanted out of Alberta to play in his hometown Philadelphia-New Jersey-New York market.
Other clubs around the Original 32 could have been interested — with Gaudreau fresh off a career-best 115-point season — but no doubt sat on their hands when it sounded like his heart was fixed on heading home. Well, the ex-Boston College standout landed some 500 miles west, in what is not a hockey hotbed, playing for a franchise that historically has struggled to keep its own free agents from bolting town faster than the fuse burns down on that cannon that blasts after each Blue Jackets goal at Nationwide Arena.
continued plus more topics....
Create an Account
In order to leave a comment, please create an account.