Can the Carolina Hurricanes target Johnny Gaudreau for a trade?
The Carolina Hurricanes have been desperate for some depth scoring all season long, would it make sense to target the Calgary Flames star left-winger?
Multiple NHL reporters have suggested that Calgary Flames could look to shake things up with their core should they fail to do well in the play-in rounds. One of the premier players they could look to move on from is left-winger Johnny Gaudreau. The Philadelphia native has been linked with a move away from the Saddledome for some time, but why should the Canes make this move?
Let’s start with some stats, shall we? Johnny “Hockey” Gaudreau has been in the league for 7 years, accumulating 151 goals, 294 assists doe a total of 445 points in 464 games. Roughly a point per game during his short career, the 26-year-old winger has impressed almost everyone that has watched him play. So why would Calgary possibly look to move on from him?
Occam’s razor suggests that the simplest solution is almost always the right one. With that in mind, you can look at his numbers from the most recent season as the reason. Just 18 goals and 40 assists for 58 points in 70 games isn’t something that we’re used to seeing from Johnny Gaudreau. Is there a chance there’s something else to it? Sure, but this is the most likely cause.
Just to show how long rumors about Gaudreau have been circulating for, he created quite the buzz at the 2020 NHL trade deadline with a poorly timed bathroom break. This bathroom break would send the hockey world into a frenzy.
So, why is it possible for the Hurricanes to pursue Gaudreau? Well, Calgary and Carolina have often found themselves being trade partners. Recently, there’s been so many former Canes ending up in Southern Alberta that some hockey fans have dubbed them “The Calgary Hurriflames” which I think is just brilliant. I digress.
With relations usually good between Carolina and Calgary, we could see them be partners again. In the most recent trade between the two, Carolina picked up some guy named Dougie Hamilton. Yeah, it was that trade. So, why couldn’t the Canes be a potential suitor for the star winger should Calgary express a desire to move on from him?
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For one, there’s the issue of his cap-hit. Gaudreau makes 6,750,000 for the next 2 years. That is a lot of money to take on for futures while knowing that Carolina has two major free agents to re-sign between now and the end of his deal. For another, Calgary’s major need is right-handed defenders, and Carolina aren’t exactly swimming in those right now.
What would it cost the Canes for Gaudreau? Well, this would be another problem. Assuming Calgary decides to move on from him, it would signify a rebuild to most normal people. However, Sportsnet has reported the Flames wanting to continue to contend. This means NHL ready prospects and roster players would be needed to acquire the point per game winger.
Looking at the roster, the one who I’d assume to be involved in a trade to Calgary would be Nino Niederreiter. This is to do with his position as a top 6 caliber winger as well as his cap hit at 5,250,000. I’d have to assume a prospect like Joey Keane would be involved. On top of that, I’m not really sure. Either picks or more prospects would be needed.
You might look at this and say “That’s too high a price to pay for a 5’9, 174 lbs winger” but someone who can produce as well as Johnny Gaudreau can and you can see exactly why he’s such a desirable target. He’s going to hold a lot of value because of the caliber of player he is. It’s a big price tag, but a big return.
I would like to re-iterate, this is all theoretical. I have no inside information on the matter. All the information I have used in here regarding Gaudreau rumors have been reported by major Canadian coverage companies. This is all public knowledge for those that follow all 31 NHL teams intensively. This should not be used to justify rumors about the Hurricanes acquiring Gaudreau.