Gaudreau Looking for $8 Million AAV From Flames: Report

Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau is one of a handful of players participating in the 2016 World Cup without a new contract in place with their NHL club. The gap between the organization and the player’s camp appears to be predictably large, according to a report in the Calgary Sun.

The gap could be as big as $1.5 million, with Gaudreau looking to make around $8 million annually and the Flames hoping to get him to land somewhere between Sean Monahan’s $6.375 million AAV and captain Mark Giordano’s $6.75, which is the largest salary on the team.

The Sun highlights that the Flames are pushing a lower price largely because Gaudreau has basically no rights, having been in the league just a couple of seasons. Nonetheless, he averaged about a point per game last year, scoring 30 goals and 48 assists in 79 games. His agent is looking to get Gaudreau a contract of appropriate size for one of the league’s burgeoning stars.

The $8 million price tag brings up interesting comparables, since his counting numbers are better than anything Vladimir Tarasenko has hit at this point in his career and Tarasenko got a $7.5 million AAV on a long-term extension. Meanwhile, deals like Monahan’s have been handed out for guys like Nathan MacKinnon and Filip Forsberg.

Gaudreau doesn’t enter this negotiation with arbitration rights, so while many expected him to take a long-term deal like Monahan did, it’s possible if the gap can’t be bridged that Gaudreau takes a short-term prove-it deal and hits the next negotiations with more rights.