The negotiator: how long will Johnny Gaudreau’s next deal last?
Second in a one-season series of « The Negotiator », where we will tap into the Daily Faceoff’s front office experience Steve Greeley, who most recently served as assistant general manager for the Buffalo Sabers.
The Calgary Flames and Johnny Gaudreau are said to have entered contract extension talks over the summer, only to have Johnny Hockey skate through the season in the final year of his contract. The native of Salem County, New Jersey, can become an unrestricted free agent on July 13 for the first time in his career. After spending the first eight seasons of his career at Cow Town, many believe he would like to be closer to home, although Gaudreau has publicly stated that he is open to a new signing in Calgary.
The big question: how many mandates will Gaudreau get on his next contract?
Team: Calgary Flames
Position: Left winger
Career: 522 GP, 170 goals, 326 assists, 496 points, 0.95 PPG
Last season: 56 GP, 19 goals, 30 assists, 49 points, 0.88 PPG
This season: 2 GP, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 1.0 PPG
Current contract: final year of a 6-year $ 40.5 million contract ($ 6.75 million AAV)
Analysis: Gaudreau will undoubtedly be looking for a mandate and maximum dollars, because it will probably be the last big contract of his career. Although last season was cut short, there was no drop in his point production, hitting 0.88 points per game last year from 0.83 the previous season in 2019-2020.
Still, the teams will undoubtedly chart and project Gaudreau’s career arc in terms of production and what a potential drop might look like as he turns 30 and beyond. A maximum contract of eight years would sign it until the age of 36. The argument for Gaudreau would be that he is still moving well and showing no signs of slowing down. The argument against the mega-term for Gaudreau is one he’s heard his entire career – that his petite stature can become more prone to injury as he gets older. He’s been extremely tough in Calgary, missing just 15 games in his first seven seasons.
One of the big indicators that Gaudreau’s camp compares to the market is their points-per-game streak. He has twice passed the points-per-game mark in one season, finishing tied for seventh (with Nathan MacKinnon) in 2018-19 with 99 points.
Few of the post-pandemic deals signed for the wingers are direct comparables, as Kirill Kaprizov and Brady Tkachuk are betting on the future and Alex Ovechkin may be the all-time leading scorer. He’s also more of a playmaker than some of the big scoring wingers who signed before the pandemic.
Suffice to say that Gaudreau will want to be paid accordingly. He is certainly on the right track to do so. He is said to be among the players with the most points per game to hit the market in recent years. Considering his recent venture in the statistical rankings and being significantly more productive on a points-per-game basis than Gabriel Landeskog, who signed an eight-year, $ 56 million contract ($ 7 million AAV ) in the last offseason he will likely be well compensated, although Taylor Hall’s recent deal offers a little break.
If the Flames are unable to strike a deal with Gaudreau and also fall out of the playoff table, Gaudreau holds the cards that trade deadline with a modified no-trade clause in which he can submit five teams where he would accept a trade. .
(post-pandemic) LW Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado: 28 years, 0.75 PPG – 8 years x $ 7 million AAV
(before pandemic) LW Max Pacioretty, Vegas: 30 years, 0.72 PPG – 4 years x $ 7 million AAV
(pre-pandemic) LW Jamie Benn, Dallas: 28 years, 0.88 PPG – 8 years x $ 9.5 million AAV
(pre-pandemic) LW Jeff Skinner, Buffalo: 27, 0. – 8 x $ 9 million AAV
Potential Calgary Flames ask: 6 years x $ 7.25 million AAV
Potential Gaudreau Camp Ask: 8 years x $ 9 million AAV
The negotiator says: 7 years x $ 7.75 million AAV
For more on The Negotiator, check out the salary files of other players on Daily Faceoff:
New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox