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Johnny Hockey and the Flames will begin working on a contract extension

Johnny Gaudreau, Ryan Murray

Calgary Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau, left, carries the puck up ice as Columbus Blue Jackets’ Ryan Murray defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio. The Flames defeated the Blue Jackets 4-2. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)


The Calgary Flames and Johnny Gaudreau’s camp are expected to start negotiating an extension in the near future.

Gaudreau’s agent, Lewis Gross, has made his way to Calgary where he’s expected to be in touch with his client and Flames General Manager Brad Treliving.

The 22-year-old forward is scheduled to become a restricted free agent at season’s end.

“It’s good to have him out here to sit down and chat about things and what will happen next year,” Gaudreau said of having Gross in town, per the Calgary Sun.

“Honestly, we haven’t talked about (the contract) much, but now that he’s out here, it might come up a little more now. We’ve been kind of struggling on the ice lately, so we haven’t been worrying about it too much because we’re trying to hop back up in the standings.”

The Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis expects Gaudreau to become the highest paid player on the Flames roster:

Assuming Gaudreau is game for staying out west for the long haul, there’s very little doubt the deal he’ll ink will exceed the highest contract doled out for a Flames player to date — to Mark Giordano signed in the summer at six years, US$40.5 million ($6.75 million cap hit). There was also the six-year, $39-million deal ($6.5 million annually) Dion Phaneuf signed here in 2008 and the five-year, $35-million ($7 million annually) whopper former captain Jarome Iginla inked the same year.

The sophomore forward had 64 points in 80 games in 2014-15, and he has 22 goals and 55 points in 55 games this season.

There’s no doubt it’s going to take a huge offer to lock him up, but the Flames front office believes Gross’ presence in Calgary is a positive.

“At this point, where we are at with the contract, you’d have to ask Brad — it’s his baby — but it’s always positive when you have the agent in town and meet and come together and see where everyone is going in more than a 10-minute conversation,” Flames assistant GM Craig Conroy said.