The regular season is a grind. A quick run in the playoffs is disappointing. Not having a first round pick isn't the greatest scenario. But waiting for free agency to start is excruciating and it's worse when you're waiting for the straw the stirs the Flames drink to decide what he's going to do. That straw, is Johnny Gaudreau.
Now, you'd have to be living under a rock to know that this offseason for the Flames is rather large. Not only do they have to get Gaudreau back under contract, but they also need to extend a qualifying offer to Matthew Tkachuk and sign one or both of Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington. For now, we're just going to deal with Johnny Gaudreau.
It's known that if Gaudreau decides to walk and go back East (I wouldn't be shocked if this was the option) there's a massive hole in the Flames lineup. Having to fill that void would be almost impossible based on talent and the Flames cap situation.
According to media reports from Ryan Leslie and Elliotte Friedman the Flames have given Johnny Gaudreau a "very good offer." But in the end is it an offer he can't turn down and at the end of the day good enough to keep him in Western Canada as opposed to the East Coast of the States? You be the judge:
Here is what Ryan Leslie has to say about the Gaudreau situation.— Ring of Fire CGY (@RingOfFireCGY) July 4, 2022
I think he is the most dialled in local media member when it comes to the Flames so his opinion has some weight behind it. pic.twitter.com/kiRAWGyRXr
Need an update on Johnny Gaudreau's free agency? @FriedgeHNIC joined @Fan960Steinberg and @sprusina to weigh in on what's next for #13— Sportsnet 960 (@Sportsnet960) July 4, 2022
Full #Flames Talk Podcast⤵️
At the end of the day the Flames have to go all out and offer anything and everything to keep Gaudreau in Calgary, but it's really all on Johnny Gaudreau to make the best decision for him and his family. Is that Calgary, far away from home and family with a team that's close, but maybe not that close? Or is it back home, surrounded by friends and family, being a piece that's added to put a team over the top? I'm not being negative at all here and I don't blame him if chooses Option B, but that's where I think he's heading. I have no inside info, but if I were a betting man I think the Johnny Gaudreau Era is coming to an end. Come July 13 we'll find out what the Flames are going to look like this Fall and if Gaudreau is gone, it may not be pretty.
Here's to hoping the Flames have offered #13 enough that Calgary is his home for the foreseeable future because I don't want a Johnny Gaudreau-less Calgary Flames.