Johnny Gaudreau doesn't owe the Flames anything

Some Flames fans believe Johnny Gaudreau should have given the organization warning that he wasn't going to resign in Calgary but when players can be traded without notice by team owners, they have every right to play out their contract.

Video Transcript

SAM CHANG: Listen, if you want to be salty about someone leaving and boo them tongue and cheek when they come back, yeah, I totally get it. But if you're out there being like Johnny Gaudreau stabbed this team in the back, he betrayed the city of Calgary. Seek help.

I'm sorry, I saw people be like, he needed to give them notice. He was on a contract with a end date. And so when you know what the end date is, you don't have to give anyone notice because that's how the contract ends. Pretty sure the flames knew from day one when that contract expired, pretty sure they had exclusive rights to negotiate with him.

And if you don't have a backup plan as a general manager and your player hasn't signed and hasn't been like, hey, this is the deal. We're going to sign let's do it, that's on the general manager. And I'm not criticizing Brad Treliving, I feel like he's actually done a decent job getting Huberdeau and Weegar are back. It's not as dire as it was when Gaudreau left. But people who are like he should have told them all along that he didn't intend to come back.

Yeah, I'm sure all of you who are saying this now would have behaved totally, totally reasonably if he had said halfway through the season, by the way, I hate it here. Peace out, I'm not coming back.

- Honestly, there are things that you say as a professional sports person that you have to say, especially because the whole thing is like, you don't want distractions around the game and stuff. Imagine if for like three years all we're talking about is like, oh, what's the next deal? What's the next deal? Where is he going to sign? Where is he going to sign?

You're trying to win, go deep in the playoffs, go far into the playoffs. And again, for this year, it seemed like that way. And they all had incredible seasons. Gaudreau had an incredible season. There was a time where people were saying he should be nominated for the Hart. And again, I know it's easy to say from a distance because it's not my team, but at the end of the day, man, players will go wherever they want to go, and players will say what they need to say.

Sam, you brought up Huberdeau and Weegar. They said, you know what? They'd be open to resigning. Duh, what else are they going to say? No, I'm only going to be here for a year, then I'm gone. Screw this city. Of course, there are certain things that they want to communicate with the public and then things they feel that they need to and other things they feel that they don't need to.

And I think that's why the Johnny Gaudreau player Tribune article was very opening to seeing all the things that kind of was part of the decision. A lot of people got hung up on that he wants to go home, and I saw people tweeting maps of New Jersey and Columbus. But when you read the players Tribune article and see the things that were taking place off the ice, it makes sense, man. Like, whatever. Let him do whatever he needs to do. He doesn't owe anyone an apology. It's his career. Let him do whatever he needs to do.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Go ahead. Go ahead, Sam.

SAM CHANG: I want to take it a step further because people are like, oh, when he knew that he wasn't going to come back, he should have told them.

- OK, after the deadline?

SAM CHANG: Sorry, you sign a contract as a player, you get drafted when you're 18, 19, you have no rights about where you go for the next seven years unless you-- you have no say over that. Even if you know five years and you're not going back, I would never, ever, ever tell the team I'm not coming back, because you have earned the right to pit teams against each other.

He could have gone to another team and been like, Calgary's offering me XYZ, what are you going to give me?

JULIAN MCKENZIE: What y'all giving me?

SAM CHANG: Why would you ever shoot-- why would you ever take away your own leverage like that? Anyone who expects him to do that out of some misguided loyalty to the city of Calgary, get some help.

AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: That's ridiculous. And people talk about, oh, he owed the city, he owed this. He gave them right there 8 seasons, 100 point years. How much more does he owe the city? How much more do you want from the man? He isn't a robot, he's a thing you control. As mentioned earlier ago, it's his career, it's his life. He gave them eight years, and you want him to give back more? Shut up. It's not your life. Get out of the man's life.

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