Updates on Gaudreau and Trouba – October 3, 2016
Check out the latest on restricted free agent Johnny Gaudreau and Jacob Trouba.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the agent for Calgary Flames restricted free agent winger Johnny Gaudreau said his client isn’t asking for a trade. Agent Lewis Gross said his client wants to stay in Calgary and has no intention of seeking a trade “at this time.”
Gross said his last contact with the Flames was on Sept. 9. Flames GM Brad Treliving said he’s not going to negotiate publicly, adding he remains confident the two sides can reach an agreement.
It’s been reported the Gaudreau camp seeks a contract in the range of $8 million per season, while the Flames want him signed to a deal between $6.3 million to $6.75 million. There’s speculation Gaudreau’s ineligibility for arbitration or to receive an offer sheet could be complicating negotiations.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis believes avoiding any hard feelings is the biggest goal outside of Gaudreau signing a long-term deal. Given the winger’s lack of negotiating rights leaves him no option but to withhold his services, he can’t expect to receive more than $7 million annually. A holdout stretching into the season could lead to a slow start that ultimately costs the Flames a playoff berth.
Francis also claims the club wants to add more organizational depth – possibly by bringing back defenseman Kris Russell – but cannot do so until they know how much they’ll be paying Gaudreau. Sean Monahan recently said he’d been in contact with Gaudreau and expects him to re-sign soon. Francis suggests the winger should agree to a six-year, $42 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m sure some folks will seize on Gross’ “at this time” remark to suggest Gaudreau could change his mind about requesting a trade if he doesn’t get what he wants. I still believe this is simply a staredown between the two camps that will come to a head by this weekend. I expect Gaudreau will be re-signed to a deal upward of $7 million annually. Gaudreau is going to be very well paid by the Flames. It’s simply a question of how much.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ted Wyman believes the Winnipeg Jets should trade defenseman Jacob Trouba simply because he’s unhappy in his role and wants out. By doing so, Wyman fears it’ll show the Jets other young players (Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers and Connor Hellebuyck) that the organization can be pushed around in contract negotiations.
Wyman feels Trouba hasn’t proven anything yet and thus shouldn’t dictate where he plays. He also speculates the blueliner could be using his desire to play on the right side simply as an excuse to get out of Winnipeg. If the Jets do move Trouba, Wyman feels it should be on their terms.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The downside of taking a hardline stance with Trouba is the Jets could end up with a defenseman ineligible to play the remainder of this season if unsigned by Dec. 1. That robs them of a possible trade asset to address other roster issues that arise. If Trouba really doesn’t want to play in Winnipeg, why force him to stay? Now you have an unhappy player who could become a dressing-room cancer. If a rival club comes calling with a tantalizing offer, best to take it and quickly move on.