As the NHL exhibition season rolls along there are still a number of big name restricted free agents that remain without a contract, including Calgary Flames star forward Johnny Gaudreau.
“We have no intention of asking for a trade at this time,” his agent Lewis Gross said on Sunday, via Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. “He wants to stay in Calgary.”
His agent also said the two sides have not had any conversations since September 9.
Gaudreau is coming off of a monster season for the Flames that saw him finish as the NHL’s sixth-leading scorer with 78 points, including 30 goals.
During the ongoing negotiations reports have surfaced that Gaudreau had been seeking a contract in the $8 million per year range, while the Flames were hoping to get him for a deal similar to the one signed by Sean Monahan.
Monahan signed a seven-year contract with the Flames in August that pays him an average of $6.3 million per season.
A fourth-round pick by the Flames in 2011 and one of the smallest players in the NHL, Gaudreau has quickly become one of the NHL’s most exciting and explosive players and has already proven to be a prolific top-line scorer, topping 64 points in each of his first two seasons in the league. He is one of only 17 players in the league over the past two years to top the 64-point mark each season. He is still only 23 years old, meaning he is probably just now entering what should be his peak years in the league.
Even though negotiations seem slow at this point and the reported gap in numbers is fairly large, this still seems like something that is going to get completed before the regular season begins. Gaudreau is too important to the Flames for them to risk entering the season without him. They certainly realize that.
Along with Gaudreau and the aforementioned Trouba and Rieder, Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay), Hampus Lindholm (Anaheim), Rickard Rakell (Anaheim), and Rasmus Ristolainen (Buffalo) all still remain unsigned as restricted free agents.