While most of the unrestricted free agents that were expected to sign deals with NHL clubs have done so, the restricted free agent market has yet to be finalized. Some big-name restricted free agents remain without a contract, and perhaps none bigger than Johnny Gaudreau. After Sean Monahan received a long-term contract that will keep him in Calgary for the next seven years, many have been waiting anxiously to see the contract that Gaudreau will eventually receive.
As is the case with any big name player sitting without a contract this late into the offseason, there has been speculation about whether or not Gaudreau wants to sign a new deal with the Flames. When that fact was mentioned to Gaudreau through Twitter, the 23-year-old responded in the most encouraging way for Flames fans possible:
I love Calgary!!
— Johnny Gaudreau (@johngaudreau03) August 25, 2016
Tweeting “I love Calgary!!” is definitely one way to give Flames fans reason to breathe easy, but the best way to calm then down will be to sign a contract. Johnny Hockey has been a big-time player since joining the league following his time at Boston College, and he is likely to receive one of the more expensive deals in the NHL as a result. Gaudreau’s love for Calgary probably won’t buy the franchise too much leeway in terms of salary, but knowing that he wants to stay is a good sign for the Flames organization, and the fanbase as a whole.