The Columbus Blue Jackets landed arguably the top player available on the free agent market. Now the club has released a new video giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at how the deal with Johnny Gaudreau came together.
The video — part of the team's "Behind the Battle" series on Youtube — opens with general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, assistant general manager Josh Flynn and director of player development Rick Nash, among others, in the team's war room on free agency day as they close a deal with defenceman Erik Gudbranson.
Nash tells the group that player development coach Derek Dorsett spoke to Gudbranson, who said, "his buddy who he played with last year is dying to come to Columbus."
"Now we're talking hockey baby," team president John Davidson says.
Flynn is then seen talking on the phone with Gaudreau's agent, saying "If it's alive still, we'd want to talk to him."
"He must want to come because otherwise we wouldn't be talking about this," Kekalainen tells the group.
"He wants to come," Flynn says.
Flynn then gets another call from Gaudreau's agent and gives a thumbs up to the group. He tells the agent that the group just needs owner John McConnell to land to get the final stamp of approval.
The video then shows management getting the PR machine rolling with the VP of communications Todd Sharrock.
"Quote he's a pretty good player," Kekalainen says to Sharrock.
It then cuts to Gaudreau arriving in Columbus with his wife, meeting with the coaches and other staff and ultimately being introduced to the local media in a press conference.
"I'm so excited," Gaudreau says. "This is a great start today but I want to get back there... I didn't come to Columbus to check out the views, I came here to win hockey games and that's important to me."