The Calgary Flames are having one of the most successful seasons in recent memory, currently first in the Pacific Division and all but a lock to make the playoffs. They’re beating up on the entire league and already in the conversation to win multiple NHL awards, but the elephant in the room is the looming expiration of the contracts for their top two players: Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk.
The former was drafted by the Flames in 2011 in the fourth round and has done nothing but put up points since he broke into the league in 2014. The small winger out of Boston College is already among the best Flames of all time, ranking sixth all time in points, 10th in goals, and fifth in assists. He was named to the NHL all rookie team and a Calder Trophy finalist in 2015, took home the Lady Byng Trophy in 2017, and is a six-time NHL all star.
Gaudreau’s contract that pays him an average annual value of $6.75M expires at the end of the season and Gaudreau becomes an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with whoever he wants come July 1st. Flames fans are clamouring for the Flames to sign Gaudreau to an extension, but Gaudreau and his agent have stated that they will not be discussing contract talks publicly this season to avoid it being a distraction. We’ve essentially been in the dark about the status of an extension, until now.
On a radio hit with Sportsnet 960 yesterday, Flames Assistant General Manager Craig Conroy may have tipped his cap on the status of a Gaudreau extension.
That’s a done deal. We’re going to get that done. You know what they call me, they call me Santa Clause giving out contracts. Snowy and Tre will be banging away at it I think.Flames AGM Craig Conroy on Sportsnet 960
Conroy was instrumental in bringing Gaudreau to Calgary after college and helping him on his journey to the NHL. It would make a lot of sense that he’s also heavily involved in the negotiation of Gaudreau’s next contract as well.
Many outlets want you to believe the Flames are cap strapped and can’t sign both Gaudreau and Tkachuk this offseason, but they’re wrong. We’ve broken down multiple times how the Flames can keep both stars and continue to be a Stanley Cup contender. Hopefully Conroy is right and Gaudreau will remain a Flame fore the foreseeable future, but only time will tell.