CALGARY, AB -- The smile was sly on Johnny Gaudreau
When it was suggested that he and fellow running-mate Sean Monahan -- both due to receive new contracts with hefty raises this offseason -- could sign matching deals and end what could be a summer of distraction, the leading scorer of the Calgary Flames stickhandled as well off the ice (25 feet from that sheet at Scotiabank Saddledome, in fact) as he did off it.
“We talk about it at times,” revealed Gaudreau in his final address after locker cleanup Monday.
“We have different agents so they probably don’t see eye-to-eye I guess… I don’t know. They probably think their players deserve more. Me and Sean, we love playing together and we love the city of the Calgary. If it was up to us I think we’d just sign the same deal and get back after it next season. The agents are smart and they are professionals and that’s what they do so I’m not really sure what is going to happen.
“I trust my agent. He does a lot for me and looks out for me. I trust everything he does for me and I’m excited to see what’s going to happen with my new contract.”
Music to the ears the general manager.
Because, of course, why wouldn’t it be?
“Perfect,” Brad Treliving said.
“There are similarities. They’re teammates, they play together. There’s some differences in terms of contractual CBA rights and all those types of things. Does it make it easier? Harder? Better? Worse?
“We’ll get to work on it. We’ll get contracts done. I know that they’re both excited to be here. They’re both going to be big parts of this team moving forward.
“Like any negotiation, we’ll bang away at it and get to a good conclusion.”
Gaudreau paced the Flames in goals (30), assists (48), points (78), and general excitement in 2015-16, improving on rookie totals that earned him a Calder Memorial Trophy nomination last year. Only five other NHLers -- elite company in Patrick Kane, Jamie Benn, Sidney Crosby, Joe Thornton and Erik Karlsson -- produced more this season than Gaudreau.
Monahan finished second only to Gaudreau in goals (27) and points (63). He’s scored at least 20 goals in each of his first three seasons in the NHL, and has hit the 60-point plateau in back-to-back years for Calgary.
Chicago Blackhawks standouts Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane signed twin eight-year, $84-million contracts in 2014. Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle inked identical $6-million deals a week apart; Hall for seven year and Eberle for six. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also signed a seven-year contract worth $6-million per year a summer later with the Oilers.
The idea of matching up with Gaudreau on their own pact didn’t dissuade Monahan.
“Johnny’s a good friend of mine and great player,” he said. “If we get the same contract, that would be cool and we’d go from there.”
Regardless of the numbers, neither franchise cornerstone seemed overly concerned about their contract status heading now that the season is over.
And now that summer has come (earlier than last) for the Flames, the focus can be placed on signing Gaudreau and Monahan to the long term.
Whenever that may happen.
“I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen,” Monahan said. “It’s something I’m looking forward too. It’ll get done, but it’s a matter of time here.”
Ditto, suggested Gaudreau.
“It’s the summer time so I don’t think I need to worry about it too much,” he echoed. “It would be nice to have it done but my agent and Brad obviously know what they are doing so I’m not really sure when it’s going to happen. When it’s done I’ll be excited about it and look forward to next season.
“We kind of got a little bit forward progress there but not really sure right now. “We kind of just played out the rest of the season here. The trade deadline came in February and it was a busy time for Brad.
“I’m sure he’s going to work on me and [Monahan] here in the future.”