Obviously this contract is a little more complicated than the Sean Monahan contract!
With the Monahan deal, the comparables were already in place. The market had already been established thanks to Nate MacKinnon in Colorado and Aleksander Barkov in Florida.
Many of the so called experts predicted Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau would sign identical contracts on the same day. The Chicago Black Hawks did this with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The Oilers were a week apart when they did similar deals with Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall.
On the surface, this seemed like a logical solution. Give Gaudreau 7 years and 44.6 million dollars and let’s call it a day.
Here lies the problem.
The critics say Gaudeau is not worth the same money as Mony. Yes, he’s a dynamic player with a huge upside but he has only played two seasons in the NHL and he hasn’t proven he can be a consistent scorer on the road when the match ups are much tougher. Monahan may not put up the same numbers as Gaudeau but he plays a more important position in a much more demanding role.
The Gaudreau camp will counter than Johnny is more important because of his skills and his marketability. He leads the team in all important categories like goals, assists, points and jersey sales. He has racked up 142 points in 159 games.
The multi million dollar question is will Gaudreau continue to improve his game or will teams continue to shut him down on the road because of his size? And what is his long term durability?
In a perfect world, I would like to see Gaudreau sign a two or three year bridge deal. Keep him a restricted free agent for the next contract when he can really hit the home run.
Do I think this will happen? NO. But I can certainly understand why the deal is not done yet.
By the way, Flames GM Brad Treliving will address the subject tonight on Sportstalk with Jock at 6:30pm.