Report: Johnny Gaudreau tells Flames he’s becoming a free agent

Johnny Gaudreau will become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday after telling the Calgary Flames he will test the market late this evening.

Gaudreau, 28, just completed his 9th season in the NHL, all with the Flames. In 2021-2022, he had a career year posting 115 points (40 G – 75A) in 82 games. He’s been open about signing an extension to stay in Calgary but has now decided see what’s out there.

Johnny Gaudreau to test free agency

johnny gaudreau
Mar 5, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) celebrates after scoring the winning goal against the Colorado Avalanche in overtime at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Gaudreau reportedly sat on an 8-year offer from the Calgary Flames. The AAV on the offer was estimated to be between $9.5 million to $10 million to remain in Alberta.

Now that he’s going to test the market, there are many teams believed to be interested in signing.

Primarily two teams close to his hometown of Salem, New Jersey will be in the mx. Both the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils could be heavily involved in a bidding war come tomorrow at noon. Another team that is believed to be involved in trying to acquire him are the New York Islanders

If I had to gander a guess his destination of choice are the Flyers where his good friend Kevin Hayes is probably anxiously waiting.

This has to be disappointing for the Flames and GM Brad Treliving who said: “We’re going to move heaven and earth and do everything we possibly can to get Johnny back here.”

Gaudreau’s last deal came with an AAV of $6.75 million. He is undoubtedly in-line for a lot more no matter which team he decided to sign with next.

It’s a disappointing day, to say the very least,” Treliving said on Tuesday night. “We did everything possible to keep him here. It’s a family decision and we respect that fully.”