Latest on the Flames and Lightning – September 9, 2016

by | Sep 9, 2016 | Rumors | 38 comments

The agent for Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau reportedly seeks around $8 million AAV for his client.

The agent for Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau reportedly seeks around $8 million AAV for his client.

 An update on the Calgary Flames’ contract talks with Johnny Gaudreau and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s plans for their goaltending this season. 

CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports there’s about a $1.5 million gap in contract talks between the Flames and player agent Lewis Gross, who represents left wing Johnny Gaudreau. Sources claim Gross seeks around $8 million per season on a long-term deal for his client, while the Flames prefer something between $6.35 million (which Gaudreau’s linemate Sean Monahan recently agreed to) and $6.75 million (the annual cap hit of team captain Mark Giordano).

One source doesn’t see Gaudreau worth more than Monahan, Nashville’s Filip Forsberg ($6 million AAV) or Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon ($6.3 million AAV). Another source points to Gaudreau’s poor production away from Calgary (only 19 of his 78 points came on the road last season), his small size (5’9″, 157 lbs) raising questions about his durability and limited defensive game as factors of concern.

Francis believes there’s little chance the Flames will set such a high bar for future players coming off entry-level contracts. He also doubts Gaudreau will withhold his services or play overseas for a year, where he won’t receive an offer that matches what the Flames are offering.  Ultimately, Francis speculates a long-term deal for Gaudreau will hover around $7 million AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In just two NHL seasons, Gaudreau has established himself as a rising star. He’ll get big bucks, but I think that ceiling is $7 million AAV . He could stage a holdout, but I doubt he wants to go that route.

Gaudreau also said he doesn’t want to talk contract during the World Cup of Hockey tournament. While he could miss what remains of the Flames preseason following the World Cup, participating in that tournament won’t hurt his conditioning. 

This could go right up to the start of the regular season, but I believe both sides will hammer out an agreement before then. And no, I don’t see him getting an offer sheet from a rival club or the Flames shopping him if he stages a holdout at the start of the season. 

PS: As noted in the comments section, Gaudreau is ineligible to receive an offer sheet.

TAMPA BAY TIMES:  Joe Smith reports speculation suggesting the Tampa Bay Lightning could trade one of their two goalies (Ben Bishop or Andrei Vasilevskiy) by the Feb. 28 trade deadline could be hasty. General manager Steve Yzerman isn’t ruling out the possibility of keeping Bishop and Vasilevskiy for the entire season.

Much of the trade speculation has centered around Bishop, who’s carrying a $5.9 million cap hit this season and is eligible for UFA status in July. While there’s a risk of losing Bishop to free agency or the June expansion draft for nothing, keeping the goalie tandem intact could give the Lightning their best chance to win the Stanley Cup next spring. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot will also depend upon how well Bishop and Vasilevskiy perform, as well as the Lightning’s roster needs over the course of the upcoming regular season. If both are playing well and no obvious weaknesses appear elsewhere in the lineup, there’s no reason to move Bishop. Sure, it comes at the risk of losing him after the playoffs for nothing, but if he helps the Bolts win the Cup, it’ll be a gamble worth taking. 


  1. Fully expecting the usual suspects to jump down my throat and plaster me with “analytics” – I will nevertheless put forward the thought that I can fully understand any unease management might have about about sinking big bucks over a long term into a player who is 5’9 and under 160 lbs. Especially now that opposing teams have had 2 years to formulate a “book” on how to deal with his “moves.”

    • I don’t think it takes analytics to see how well has played so far. Smaller players have been successful in the past and as the NHL grows away from goonery and towards more north south fast hockey these players will find even more success. you put analytics in quotes then talk about books and moves? Thats just blatantly ridiculous.

      • So what you’re saying is, opposing D will not be able to knock a 5’6″ 167 lb F off the puck any easier than they would a 6’^ 225 lbs behemoth as they start to formulate a method of dealing with his offensive approach, and that there is no such thing as developing a “book” on how to deal with specific players?? Look in a mirror if you want a vision of “blatantly ridiculous.”

      • so your saying that someone fast and small cant get around players easier than someone 6’^ 225? Teams sure can develop plans for dealing with situations based on trends they observe over a period of time. Its called analytics. Thats why your statement was ridiculous. Striker had a good point about years of control and bridge deals though.

      • And George are you certain Calgary and Gaudreau won’t adapt either to the plans of their opponents.

        Size doesn’t matter any more. Speed kills.

      • Once again Jeff you and chrisms completely miss my effing point! Point out EXACTLY where I ever said speed doesn’t kill and that small players don’t have a place in the NHL. Just one. READ the bloody thing. All I said was, a D will have an easier time knocking a 5’6″ 167 lb guy off the puck than they will a 6′ 6″ behemoth. Yeah, Gaudreau’s speed will get him out of a lot of such confrontations, but if and when he runs into a Byfuglien guess who’s coming out on the short end? Whether you or anyone else likes it or not, s player of Gaudreau’s size will, more often than not, show the results of repeated hits a lot sooner in their career than a big man like Getzlaf for instance. As for bloody “analytics” with its cockamamy CORSI and Fenwick drivel – developing a method to defend against a certain player h as nothing to do with any of that crap and will begin to unfold deeper into a player’s career. Remember Spezza and his dipsy-doodle moves? Worked for a while but once they began to see his tendencies and where they generally occurred on the ice he started to get his pocket picked much more frequently.

      • Analytics is cockamamie but analysis of a player over time isn’t. Glad you cleared that up Georgie boy.

      • Keep up those condescending remarks my friend and one day – somewhere – y you will wind up with a fat lip.

      • This from the gentleman who is routinely rude and condescending on this board. your lips must be huge.

      • I have NEVER resorted to condescending “Georgie boy” crap. You are a thin-skinned moron who simply cannot taker ANY criticism of your particular team.

    • Agreed. I also bridge all players coming out of ELC’s allowing for longer years with respective team.

      See we do agree on occasion.

    • I think Trevling at this point is looking for a deal that makes sense for the Flames.

      Buffalo, Columbus and NJ are my top thoughts. Evander, Saad, and Hall would be the targets with varying adds.

  2. Johnny should not be paid more than Giordano. Maybe less term works. He creates his own time and space and the vision on the ice is outstanding . Only goalies and pitchers have “books”

  3. I don’t think the me first motto applies to Gaudreau; however, I can’t help but wonder how demanding to be paid more than other key players, who are just as important to the team effects team chemistry. Another glaring stat is the low road point production. I also don’t think Gaudreau seems to be the holdout type and wonder if these negotiations are ramped up more by agents than players. Maybe a bridge deal? At any rate they do need to sign him as I have said on this site before he does seem to be becoming the face of the Flames. He is a very likable and skilled player obviously.

    • The players are union men… they understand one of their bro’s trying to get what they can get. It only raises the bar for the group as a whole. He should be compared to similar players around the league… not just his team. comparing him to mckinnon/forsburg was good. But he could also point to a contract like Lucic, a nearing end of prime long term deal for 6 mil, and say I’m worth more than that on a contract entering my prime with higher ceiling.

      • Some union. Where the members individually negotiate their own bloated salaries. Wouldn’t the auto workers love that ability!

      • The higher the deals for players the more leverage other players have to use that in negotiations.

      • Perhaps George if other union jobs had people spending 100s of dollars to watch you do your job the salary structures would all be the same.

    • This could just as much be the agent pushing for dollars as Gaudreau himself. This is just how the ebb and flow of negotiating works. This is not symptomatic of it being an issue with Gaudreau until he holds some sort of holdout. He has previously said he was going to negotiate after the world cup, so until then enjoy the rumours.

  4. Who cares about his size? I’ve only seen him get hit twice in 2 years, and one of those was from Pavel Datsyuk. “Durability” my arse. Also John is not eligible for an offer sheet-not even an option.

    • That’s correct re: the offer sheet. He’s ineligible.

  5. Believe me I understand the union angle and how higher wages help them all but Gaudreau, especially with that paltry road production, is not substantially more to the Flames than Giordano, or Monohan. But I do think his slight advantage in Calgary is similar to what Subban enjoyed in Montreal. I am not implying a trade by the way. Having said all of what I have said it is crucial for Calgary to sign him. I agree that size does not matter when you never get hit, and the game is evolving in a manner that seems to be favoring smaller players.

  6. Jonny will be a Leaf with Stamkos and McDavid look out Leafs are going to be the Golden state warriors of the NHL.

    • Yeah don’t think so Gaudreau wants to play closer to home near Jersey and Philly eventually. No way is Gaudreau going to the Leafs. Stamkos wont be a Leaf until at least another 8 years or so. Same with McDavid and besides the Leafs couldn’t afford those high contracts any ways plus give big money to Matthews and Nylander and Marner as well down the road good luck if you think you could ever afford those high priced player. Especially considering that the salary cap will remain stagnant for the foreseeable future.

      • Gary,

        Oil Fan is being facetious. Please don’t take him seriously!

    • That’s cool because the Oilers are the New Jersey Nets…keep signing run down power forwards to 6 million long term deals…Oilers fan knocking leafs fan…

      • So besides Lucic who is far from run down at the age of 28, who are the other so called run down forwards the the Oilers have signed to 6mil long term?

  7. Not the forum- but just curious-and a good debate ****from a fantasy perspective** who will fair better this year and going forward – Matthews Laine or Puhjujarvi?

    • I would say Laine. He is my favourite to win the Calder. Laine has the benefit of better quality line mates than Matthews. I am not convinced that Puljujarvi will make the Oilers out of training camp, especially now that the Oilers are on the verge of signing Versteeg to a PTO.

      • I also go with laine just i like the jets team good looking prospects moving forward

    • depends on the way the pool is structured. Most leagues put an emphasis on goals so I would think Laine is the better bet here.

    • Now living in winnipeg I want to say Laine. If puljujarvi lines up with McDavid he will win it. No knock on Matthew’s but caliber of team may hold him back.

    • On a points league I would say Laine. He will have the benefit of much better line mates. Not to mention the amount of pressure that will be placed on Mathews to be the saviour of the Leafs.

  8. I don’t believe that Gaudreau can’t score on the road. The whole Flame team has trouble scoring on the road because they don’t have a second scoring line that is a big threat so the home team can easily line match and get their shutdown line against Gaudreau. He should hold out and see just how the Flames do without him. They would not be very good and most likely come closer to what he wants.

  9. All I know is this, Gaudreau is a good hockey player. He is the face of the Flames now and should be for a long time. He is worth more then some players who make more then the are worth. Then there are the players who make less then their value.
    He should be the highest paid Flame. 7 mil a year 6-7 years.

  10. Look at it this way, TJ Brodie is the Flames most important player and he’s only making 3.9 mill. Compared to that Johnny making double is ridiculous. 7 years, 6.5 per is more than fair.

    • Brodie needs a new agent.

  11. It’s ridiculous for someone who has two seasons under their belt to demand that much money. I find it so greedy. The guy’s balls have barely dropped yet. Six million is more than fair. Plenty of players have a couple remarkable seasons and then flop. No team in their right mind gives 8 million to an RFA. Nor a UFA that’s name isn’t Stamkos, Crosby, Tavares, Toews or Ovechkin. Just angers me.