Gaudreau on Flames’ future: ‘We have three great years ahead of us’
Things change quickly in hockey, but it’s often especially interesting when someone gives their team a “window” for their best chances at success.
Considering the trying summer for the Capitals, GM Brian MacLellan’s two-year window proclamation might have been dead-on for Washington. If Johnny Gaudreau has similar prognosticating skills, then the Calgary Flames need to take some big swings in the next three seasons.
“I think we have three great years ahead of us,” Gaudreau said last week, according to NHL.com. “I’m really looking forward to these next three years.”
No, this isn’t Gaudreau hedging his bets based on his own situation; his contract runs through 2021-22. His partner-in-crime Sean Monahan’s deal expires after 2022-23, so it’s not that, either.
Instead, the dazzling young forward noted that some of the team’s most important supporting cast members are locked in for three more years. Take a look:
Expiring after 2019-20:
T.J. Brodie ($4.65 million)
Travis Hamonic ($3.86M)
Michael Frolik ($4.3M)
Troy Brouwer ($4.5M)
Michael Stone ($3.5M)
Meanwhile, Mike Smith’s contract lasts two more seasons, as does the rookie deal for Matthew Tkachuk. Dougie Hamilton’s signed up for four more himself.
Gaudreau likely didn’t have this in mind, but it’s reasonable to wonder how much longer Mark Giordano will be at or near an elite level. Yes, he’s at a reasonable $6.75M for five more seasons, but he’s already 33.
All things considered, Gaudreau is reasonable in pinpointing these next three seasons specifically. In particular, defensemen as talented as Brodie and Hamonic are almost certain to command higher prices.
On the other hand, merely having such a talented player as Gaudreau signed for such a reasonable deal - not to mention the Flames lacking many “albatross” contracts - could mean that they’ll have a solid chance at competing for some time. Still, Gaudreau might be right that this is Calgary’s best chance at winning big in quite some time.