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Flames working through Gaudreau extension

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers /

CALGARY, AB -- Brad Treliving wasn't concerned about not having restricted free agent left wing Johnny Gaudreau under contract as the Calgary Flames opened training camp. 

Gaudreau -- unsigned and representing Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 -- had other things preoccupying him, after all.

"I think Johnny's focused right now," the general manager started Thursday morning. "They'll know tonight if they're advancing or not. And then we'll continue to bang away at it. You hope for the best. We're hopeful and optimistic it's going to get done and hopefully done soon. Time will tell. We'll keep banging away."

Negotiate on.

They're coming home. 

Gaudreau and Team North America were eliminated from the World Cup on Thursday afternoon after Team Russia's 3-0 win against Team Finland. Each team finished 2-1-0, but Team Russia held the tiebreaker after winning their head-to-head matchup 4-3 on Monday.

The 23-year-old, who paced the Flames and finished with a share of sixth in NHL-scoring with 78 points last season, departs the tournament as a team-leader with four points in three games.

And a hot topic of conversation.

Gaudreau opted not to chat contract during the World Cup to put his focus on helping his collection of Canadian and American teammates, aged 23 and under, navigate through the first World Cup in a decade.

The elimination opens up that embargo.

"When he gets here, there is going to be a lot of attention in terms of what is going to happen and what's going on with his contract," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "All he can do is work with the agent and work with the team and get that done.

"For us, the players that are in camp, we need to prepare and get ready for the season. I don't think we can do anything differently. We're all hoping it gets done sooner rather than later but you understand as a player in today's game, there is a process to these things sometimes and the bottom line is we're looking forward to having Johnny playing with us in the first season game."

Much of the hockey world will be focused on Gaudreau to see if that return comes on, before, or after the puck drops on 2016-17.

Treliving will work on that, and much more, between now and the Oct. 12 season-opener at the Edmonton Oilers.

"Listen, Johnny is an important piece here and an important player," he started. "This is not the first guy who has gone through a contract situation and he won't be the last. That's just part of the business. You isolate that. You take care of business. You work away at it.

"The other piece is life goes on. We've also got to figure out who the 23, 22, 21 players are for Oct. 12. That process starts today. It's a part of the business. We know how important Johnny is to us. I know he wants to be here. We'll keep working away at that. The rest of the time the coaches are going to get the other guys ready to drop the puck on Oct. 12."

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