The agent for unsigned Calgary forward Johnny Gaudreau broke his silence on Sunday, indicating his client is not asking for a trade from the Flames.
“No,” Lewis Gross answered, when asked if Gaudreau wants to follow the path of another unsigned free agent, Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba.
Could we see a point where that changes?
“We have no intention of asking for a trade at this time,” he replied. “He wants to stay in Calgary.”
What Gross did say is he’d like the pace of negotiations to pick up.
“Our last conversation with the Flames was on Sept. 9,” he said. “We were told we’d get a call in two days. It hasn’t happened. Next Friday will be a month.”
Reached by phone, Calgary GM Brad Treliving refused to get into a war of words.
“We’re not going to negotiate this publicly. We’ve said several times that we are optimistic this is going to get done. We want Johnny here.”
In August, Gross told Calgary there would be no contract discussions during the World Cup, as Gaudreau played for Team North America. The tournament concluded last Thursday. Wednesday will be two weeks since Gaudreau’s final game.
The day before the Sept. 9 conversation, The Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis reported Gaudreau asked for a contract “in the $8-million range,” while the Flames wanted him somewhere between Sean Monahan ($6.375-million annual average value) and Mark Giordano ($6.75-million AAV).
Executives and agents not directly involved in this situation believe the biggest complication to getting a deal is that Gaudreau does not have arbitration or offer-sheet eligibility. It is one of the places in the CBA where a team holds a huge hammer over a player, even one as talented as Gaudreau. Teams fight to protect that advantage.
Now we wait to see if this moves the needle in any direction.