After being linked to teams like the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils, winger Johnny Gaudreau has signed a multi-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Ahead of the start of the NHL free agency period, winger Johnny Gaudreau informed the Calgary Flames, the team that drafted him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. With that, the New Jersey-native was linked to potentially signing with the Devils, the Philadelphia Flyers, or New York Islanders.
Instead of heading to the northeast, Gaudreau is heading to the state of Ohio. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman, Gaudreau is signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Johnny Gaudreau contract details with Blue Jackets
Friedman reports that the deal is for seven years, worth $68.6 million contract, with an annual salary of $9.8 million.
As for how much Gaudreau left on the table with the Flames, Pierre LeBrun of TSN notes that their final offer was an eight-year, $84 million deal.
Devils, Flyers, and Islanders fans have to be apoplectic and punching the air that after being heavily linked to Gaudreau, neither of them have Gaudreau on the payroll. The Flyers were in on Gaudreau until hours after the start of the free agency period. That left the Devils and Islanders as the two known teams in on his services.
But, there were reports that the Blue Jackets entered the sweepstakes, and now they stand with ex-Flames winger on their roster.
Gaudreau was going to be a coveted target on the open market, due to his goal-scoring abilities and his unreal speed. It certainly helped that he had a career year with the Flames, as he put up 115 points by scoring 40 goals and dishing out 75 assists. Those are all the most he has put up in a single season of his entire career.
Overall, Gaudreau has scored 210 goals and tallied 399 assists for a total of 609 points through nine years with Calgary (602 games).
There have been some huge splashes at the opening of free agency, like the Carolina Hurricanes landing Brent Burns and Claude Giroux signing with the Ottawa Senators. But just when things were getting quiet, the Blue Jackets signed Gaudreau away from the three of their Metropolitan Division rivals.