Columbus Blue Jackets hail ‘exciting day’ after nabbing Johnny Gaudreau from Flames

The Columbus Blue Jackets landed a major free agency coup by acquiring Johnny Gaudreau from the Calgary Flames.

Gaudreau has been a revelation for the Flames since being drafted by the organization in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.

He scored 609 points in 602 games, including a career-high 115 points in the regular season in 2021-22.

The Flames were obviously keen to keep him in Calgary and offered a hige deal, but he was walked way from that, leaving money on the table, to sign a $9.75million seven-year deal with the Blue Jackets.

“Johnny Gaudreau is a superstar in the National Hockey League, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the Columbus Blue Jackets family,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said.

“He is an elite player with great character that makes the players around him better. We are thrilled to add a player of his caliber to our group. This is an exciting day for our franchise, our fans and the city of Columbus.”

From a Calgary Flames point of view there was obvious disappointment, but they believed they were ultimately hamstrung from the off by Gaudreau’s desire to move back east.

“We did everything possible to keep John here,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said. “It’s my strong belief that this is a family decision, and I respect that fully.”

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