Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes that Johnny Gaudreau hoped to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers.
It certainly came as a surprise when Gaudreau signed with Columbus and he feels he did his homework and found the ideal spot for himself. Still, Friedman’s thoughts on the matter will probably anger most fans of the Flyers. “This is what I think happened — (Gaudreau) wanted to go to Philadelphia,” said Friedman on the latest 32 Thoughts podcast. “Philadelphia was his No. 1 choice. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Once Calgary was done, he wanted to go to Philly.” However, the Flyers did not make Gaudreau an offer. “I think there were people in Philly who wanted Gaudreau, and liked the idea of Gaudreau coming in there and energizing the market and selling tickets and everything, and I do think that was discussed,” continued Friedman. “However, there was also a debate in Philly about — we were 40 points out of the playoffs. Does Johnny Gaudreau alone, taking all of our cap room, solve that problem? That’s No. 1. No. 2, I think the Ryan Ellis situation really made them think, ‘If we don’t have Ryan Ellis, we have to find defensemen.’ And they made a business decision that there were other things they had to do.”