While the Philadelphia Flyers faithful may be salivating at the thought of blue-chip prospect Nolan Patrick leading their club into the future, a bona fide superstar is seeing visions of eventually joining in on the fun as well.
Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau, who grew up just outside of Philadelphia in Carneys Point, N.J., is apparently open to returning home to suit up for his boyhood club at some point in his career. The 23-year-old discussed the potential homecoming during an interview with a Philadelphia radio station on Friday.
“It would be sweet to play [in Philadelphia] some day,” Gaudreau said. “You never know in sports, but it’s a lot of support back here in South Jersey and the Philly area.”
Gaudreau – who signed a six-year, $40.5-million deal with Calgary in 2016 – hasn’t seen his American roots wilt since making the move to Canada.
“I’ve got a ton of family here, all my friends,” Gaudreau said. “All my friends come back here, all my good friends, and kids that I’ve played with my whole life are from South Jersey.”
The top-line winger has five years left on his deal with the Flames, with whom he’s embarked on two post-season runs while becoming one of the most electrifying offensive talents in the game. A move out of Alberta doesn’t seem likely any time soon, though the door seems to be cracked a little wider than some may have thought.
Key to consider, the forward’s current deal includes a modified no-trade clause in its final year, 2021-22:
It’s not the first time the quick-footed forward has left open the possibility of donning orange and black threads before his time in the NHL is up.
Said Gaudreau to the Philadelphia Inquirer before signing his hefty, new contract last year:
“Everyone wants to play for their hometown team eventually.”