Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau says neighbors shoveled his snow to assist hold him in Calgary

With a defeat within the second spherical of the playoffs courtesy of the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames have misplaced their probability at hoisting the Stanley Cup in 2022. And worse but, they might even be dropping an integral member of their workforce. Johnny Gaudreau, the Flames’ star left winger, is on the finish of his present contract and is ready to hit free company on the conclusion of the 2021-22 NHL season.

Gaudreau, 28, is anticipated to turn out to be one of many NHL’s high free brokers ought to he find yourself departing the workforce that drafted him in 2011. However figuring out full nicely what sort of participant Gaudreau is, the great individuals of Calgary appear to be making their finest effort to maintain him round — as evidenced by the actions of Gaudreau’s neighbors this previous winter.

“My next-door neighbors, I am fairly certain they have been shoveling my snow all yr simply to get me again,” Gaudreau mentioned. “Go to Starbucks, exit to eat, everyone seems to be so welcoming and actually needs me again right here. It is nice — it is what you wish to hear. It is what you need individuals consider you, they usually need you in your workforce.

“It is a bit overwhelming at instances, but it surely’s nice to listen to. I adore it, and it is simply good to listen to everybody needs me again. So it is nice.”

Coming off a career-best season, Gaudreau is ready to be extremely coveted on the open market, and Calgary is aware of this nicely. In line with Wes Gilbertson of the Toronto Solar, Flames normal supervisor Brad Treliving promised to “transfer heaven and earth” in an effort to guarantee Gaudreau’s return. 

Nevertheless, Gaudreau’s contract scenario stays unresolved.

“We tried to determine one thing out to start with of the yr, it did not occur, and proper from Day 1 in coaching camp, I mentioned, ‘You already know, let’s simply concentrate on hockey. I do not wish to be speaking to my agent each day,’ ” Gaudreau mentioned lately. “I simply wished to concentrate on this workforce after which assist this workforce win video games, and I believe it is actually helped me this yr.”

That mindset clearly helped in 2021-22, as Gaudreau performed all 82 video games and set profession highs in factors (115), objectives (40) and assists (75). He additionally had a plus-minus of +64, the perfect of any NHL skater since Wayne Gretzky in 1986-1987. 

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