The Calgary Flames begin the regular season on Wednesday against the rival Edmonton Oilers. It will be Connor McDavid‘s first regular season game as the Oilers captain.
Flames fans won’t be concerned with that. The biggest issue facing Calgary’s NHL team right now is whether or not their talented forward Johnny Gaudreau will be in the lineup.
After playing for Team North America at the World Cup, the 23-year-old Gaudreau still remains unsigned, a restricted free agent, coming off a 30-goal, 78-point season.
“We all know that Johnny is a tremendous player,” said Flames GM Brad Treliving, as per the Calgary Sun. “He’s a significant part of our team, a significant part of our community. We are moving Heaven and Earth to try and get him done. The business side of our sport is, sometimes, not the fun side and we’re going through that right now.
“I have every confidence that we are going to get a contract that works for Johnny, that works for us. Our hope, and what we’re striving for, is get that done so that not only Johnny will be back here with us, but with us on Wednesday.”
Gaudreau’s agent, Lewis Gross, has already said his client has no intentions to ask for a trade out of Calgary.
It was reported early in September, before the World Cup began, that Gaudreau’s camp was asking for something in the range of $8 million annually, and that the two sides were about $1.5 million apart.