Some fans will do anything to keep their favourite players in town.
During the Calgary Flames' end-of-year media availability on Saturday, star forward and impending unrestricted free agent Johnny Gaudreau spoke about the upcoming offseason and the difficult decisions that face him.
Gaudreau had nothing but good things to say about Calgary, expressing his desire to stay in Alberta and try to bring the organization a long-awaited championship.
Johnny Gaudreau says he’d like to remain with Calgary if everything works out.
“That would be pretty special, to win a Cup here. Calgary is a special place for me and I do really, really love it.” #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) May 28, 2022
It seems there are plenty of people in the city eager to keep him around, as Gaudreau admitted that his neighbours seemed to go to great lengths to make his life in Calgary as comfortable as possible.
"It's such a great city to play in," Gaudreau said. "I mean my next door neighbours, pretty sure they were shovelling my snow all year just to get me back."
Johnny Gaudreau’s neighbours understood the assignment 😂 pic.twitter.com/0GsMJyLZQj
— BarDown (@BarDown) May 28, 2022
After the Salem, N.J., native had a career year with 40 goals and 75 assists for a whopping 115 points in 82 games, can you really blame these generous neighbours for doing everything they can to keep Gaudreau around?
Luckily for Flames fans, both Gaudreau and the organization seem to be on the same page, with general manager Brad Treliving telling reporters that their top scorer will be welcomed back with open arms.
Brad Treliving on Johnny Gaudreau: “We want to we want him to be a Calgary Flame. He's been one his whole career. I think he's got a chance to be one of the greatest ever to play in the history of the franchise, and there's been some great ones.” #Flames
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) May 28, 2022
Calgary finished the regular season in first place in the Pacific Division with 111 points, ahead of its provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers. Head coach Daryl Sutter and his squad narrowly defeated the Dallas Stars in the opening round of the playoffs thanks to a Game 7 overtime winner by none other than Johnny Hockey.
The Flames' Stanley Cup aspirations fell short following a disappointing second-round loss in five games to Connor McDavid and the Oilers in a highly anticipated "Battle of Alberta" series.
Gaudreau is coming off a six-year, $40.5 million ($6.75 million AAV) contract he signed prior to the 2016-17 season, and will surely be looking for a significant raise in coming negotiations.
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