Johnny Gaudreau to play in World Cup, with or without NHL contract

Johnny Gaudreau. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

As the World Cup of Hockey announced its jersey sponsorships and Fan Village location on Wednesday, one of its competitors confirmed his intention to play.

There’s some question about unsigned free agents — Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Jacob Trouba, for example — and whether or not they will compete without new contracts. According to a couple of sources, Gaudreau confirmed he will do so earlier this week.

Players can purchase extra insurance to cover themselves and it’s believed he did so.

Adding an extra layer to the story, word is the Calgary Flames were told Gaudreau does not wish to negotiate after his World Cup arrival, scheduled for Sept. 4, preferring to concentrate on the games. That moratorium would last for the duration of the event, which would be Oct. 1 if the final goes a full three games.

Gaudreau’s agent, Lewis Gross, declined to comment. Neither would Flames GM Brad Treliving.

In theory, that puts pressure on Calgary to get something done beforehand, since the NHL season opens Oct. 12. But the Flames have been consistent in their belief a deal will close and that apparently hasn’t changed.

Another GM pointed to Sergei Bobrovsky’s last contract. He and the Columbus Blue Jackets said no discussions would take place during the 2014-15 season, only to close a four-year extension in January 2015.

Sportsnet’s John Shannon reported Tuesday that two NHL assistants, San Jose’s Bob Boughner and Washington’s Lane Lambert will be considered for the newly vacant Colorado coaching job.

He’s another name to watch: Jared Bednar, head coach at AHL Lake Erie. Bednar received rave reviews for his work last season, which concluded with a Calder Cup championship.

And there is a connection: Avalanche assistant GM Chris MacFarland. Before Columbus moved its AHL team to Lake Erie, it was in Springfield. MacFarland worked for the Blue Jackets then.

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