CALGARY, AB – OCTOBER 7: Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames skates against the Vancouver Canucks in the season opener at Scotiabank Saddledome on October 7, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Report: Johnny Gaudreau is asking for $8 million per year

Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames are at an impasse in regards to contract talks.

Calgary would like to sign Gaudreau, a restricted free agent, to a long-term contract. Talks stalled since Gaudreau is trying to set himself up for a massive payday. The Calgary Sun reports Gaudreau is asking for an extension in the $8 million AAV range, which is about $1.5 million more than Flames management would like to pay.

In two seasons with the Calgary Flames, Gaudreau has shown an impressive skill set and effectiveness despite his 5’9″ size. The 23-year-old made the jump from Boston College to the NHL level with relative ease.  In 2015-16, Gaudreau led the Flames with 30 goals, 48 assists, and 78 points. The speedy left winger has the potential to challenge for scoring titles and forms an impressive core with Sean Monahan, T.J. Brodie, Dougie Hamilton, Sam Bennett and Mark Giordano.

[link_box id=”22277″ site_id=”17″ layout=”link-box-third” alignment=”alignright”]There’s a case to be made he’s an $8 million player. But, the timing is off. Gaudreau is a restricted free agent and is still on his entry-level deal. It’s rare players get star money right away, especially after just two seasons in the league. The Flames aren’t going to stiff Gaudreau on a deal, but there’s no reason to pay a maximum immediately.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on ownership,” said another agent of the waiting game with Gaudreau’s agent Lewis Gross is now likely all too happy to play until the 11th hour.

“I don’t think Burke or Murray are going to blow up their salary structure for the next eight years because they’re bowing to public pressure.”

Gaudreau’s contract should fall in line with Monahan’s recent extension. The Flames signed the restricted free agent to a seven-year, $44.625 million contract worth $6.375 million annually. The deal will take the 21-year-old into his late 20’s, where he’ll be able to re-sign to a possibly bigger extension in his prime. Gaudreau is two years older than Monahan and a seven-year deal might eat up more seasons in his prime years than he’d like, but the dollar amount is about where the Flames should be with the talented American forward.

Gaudreau is asking for more annual term than Nathan MacKinnon ($6.3 million AAV), Filip Forsberg ($6 million AAV), Vladimir Tarasenko ($7.5 million AAV) and Ryan O’Reilly ($7.5 million AAV). Gaudreau is definitely on the same level as those players, but with a smaller sample size, it’s difficult to say he’s worth more money annually than them.

It’s safe to say Gaudreau’s $8 million ask won’t be the amount he ultimately signs for. The Flames will negotiate with him and won’t immediately settle for the high demands. There’s no immediate incentive too. Brian Burke can wait it out and let the situation play out. With that said, Gaudreau has positioned himself for a large, long-term contract. Calgary wants him locked up long-term and will pay him well to do so. It’s just a matter of finding commonplace with a deal which pays him well, but at a fair rate for Calgary. The deal will get done eventually.

[Calgary Sun]

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.