It seems crazy to think that a team would move arguably its best forward, but when you’re struggling the way the Calgary Flames are and the organization believes a shake-up might be in order, sometimes, you have to look to the piece that will garner the biggest return.
Enter the rumors that Johnny Gaudreau might be on the trade block, or, at the very least, the Calgary Flames are contemplating putting him there.
Darren Haynes of The Athletic officially asked a question a lot of fans were thinking. ‘Is it time for the Flames to consider trading Johnny Gaudreau?’ He gave a number of solid arguments that the Flames should seriously consider it.
He notes that something big needs to happen with the team soon. An under-performing group with a lot of young pieces that should just be coming into their own and challenging every night look lost. Gaudreau, specifically, is not offering what he’s offered in the past.
Perhaps the place to start is the guy who is struggling the most, yet would also command a significant return. Yes, perhaps it’s time for general manager Brad Treliving to explore trade possibilities for Gaudreau — one of his most lucrative assets — and not necessarily for futures either. Think: an old-fashioned hockey trade. Two teams changing their mix.
He also notes that Calgary has been through something similar before with Jarome Iginla and they handled his trade completely wrong. If the Flames are going to move Gaudreau, they need to do better than a collection of prospects, none of whom are still in the NHL.
Time to Trade Gaudreau?
Haynes even asks if its better to make a move now, offering Gaudreau up to a team so they can get the most out of the contract he has left. Johnny Hockey makes a cap-friendly $6.75 million. That’s already attractive. But, should you move him now, the team that acquires him gets him for close to three seasons at that price.
Eric Francis of Sportsnet also chimed in and said many of the fans are calling for a change. While Francis doesn’t feel the team will do anything this season, next summer might be when Gaudreau is moved. “However, should this team fail to make the playoffs or fall short of winning at least one round this summer you can bet Gaudreau will start to be shopped,” said Francis.
It’s a pretty sad state of affairs in Calgary right now if the team is talking about moving the best player on the team and there isn’t a ton of argument from the fans if the right return is there.