Why is Brad Marchand headlining a Calgary Flames page? Well, Marchand and the Boston Bruins just agreed to an 8 year extension worth $49 million dollars. That averages out to a little over 6 million dollars a season, which is about what the Flames were offering Johnny Gaudreau, if reports are to be believed. So why is this important? Well, if Marchand was given that kind of a deal, then the Flames are vastly undervaluing their star forward.
Now, yes, Don Sweeney has made some head scratching moves since taking over as the GM of Boston’s Original Six team, but that’s not Johnny Gaudreau and his agent’s problem. All Lewis Gross has to do is point to Marchand’s deal and say “that’s what you’re offering US?” While that kind of money may be a little rich for Marchand, that’s what he was paid and that’s apparently a little under what Johnny Gaudreau is worth to the Flames.
Inadvertently, the Bruins may have helped Gaudreau and Gross. Negotiations between the Flames and their star have dragged on much longer than anyone would have imagined and Marchand signing for that kind of money may help Lewis get the deal he wants for his player from the Flames. Gaudreau is a known commodity and his WCOH performance for Team North America only raised his stock. The Flames also dropped 2 preseason games to the Oilers and now Marchand, a player not on Gaudreau’s level, gets money similar to what the Flames wanted to give Gaudreau. All this sets up to give Johnny’s camp something to smile about.
I’m not knocking Brad Marchand here. I think he’s turned himself into quite the hockey player. He still manages to keep that pest aspect to his game, but he’s become a powerful offensive weapon for the Bruins. He showcased himself well enough at the WCOH that the Bruins rushed to him with the checkbook and inked him to the 8 year deal. It’s play money to most of us. It’s unfathomable. Most, if not all, of us don’t live in the overpaid, over priced world of sports, but that’s how it works in professional athletics. Whether Marchand is worth that kind of money isn’t for me to decide, but the Bruins said he was and that means Gaudreau is worth more than $6.25 million a season.
Marchand does have service time on Gaudreau as he’s been in the league for 6 years as opposed to Gaudreau’s 2 seasons. In Marchand’s first 2 full seasons he played in 153 games and amassed 96 points (49 goals, 47 assists). In Gaudreau’s first 2 seasons he was on the ice for 159 games and has compiled 142 points (54 goals and 88 assists). Gaudreau’s natural offensive talent was there from the get go, whereas, it took Marchand a few years to get his footing. Marchand has also never made an All Star team and Gaudreau has made it in each of his first two seasons. You also have to factor in that, unlike Marchand, Gaudreau is the face of his franchise. Marchand isn’t the face of the Bruins. He may end up being in that position when Bergeron and Chara walk away, but as of now, he isn’t. Gaudreau is. It’s not Monahan. It’s not Giordano. It’s Johnny Gaudreau. He is the Flames brand.
6 years into his career Brad Marchand hit pay dirt and got a great deal from the Bruins. 2 years into his career and Johnny Gaudreau is sitting at home waiting for his deal to get done. Gaudreau has better numbers after only two seasons and his career is trending upward. The Bruins may be thrilled with what they were able to get Marchand for, but the Flames should be angry about that deal. Now, Lewis and Gaudreau just need to point at the Marchand deal and tell the Flames to get real with their contract offers.