Johnny Gaudreau will test the free agent market; Can the Flyers land him?
According to Elliotte Friedman, Johnny Gaudreau has decided to test the free agency market.
Gaudreau is coming off a 115-point season (40G-75A), tied with Huberdeau for 2nd in the league in scoring. Over the past 24 hours, the Flyers, Devils, Penguins, and Islanders are at the top of the list of teams that have been linked to Johnny Hockey.
Obviously, Philadelphia is going to be a huge talking point since Gaudreau was born in Salem, New Jersey. He also grew up a Flyers fan and is good friends with both Kevin Hayes and Tony DeAngelo.
The Flyers bought out Oskar Lindblom earlier today, clearing $3 million in cap space. However, now, according to Anthony SanFilippo, Fletcher doesn’t want to pay the asking price for a team to take on James van Riemsdyk’s salary $7.0 million to help open up more cap space.
Now that Gaudreau is hitting the free agency market, things might have changed within the Flyers organization and rightfully so. If you’re a team like the Flyers and in the midst of a very aggressive rebuild with a new head coach, there’s absolutely zero reason to pass on the hometown kid who is testing free agency and all things considered, would welcome the opportunity to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Chuck Fletcher appears to be dropping the ball here. Trading a 1st, three 2nds, a 3rd, and a 4th to basically turn Shayne Gostisbehere into Robert Hagg and Tony DeAngelo isn’t going to make any Flyers fan happy. Fletcher’s inability to properly manage assets might put hockey in Philadelphia on the back burners for years to come.
For the love of god, let’s hope something changes and fast or else Gaudreau will end up in the East, but not in Philly. I might poke my eyes out if I have to see him as a member of the Devils, Islanders, or worst case scenario, the Penguins.
Mandatory Credit: PHOTO CREDIT: SERGEI BELSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS