The Calgary Flames have been red hot all season as they took the pacific by storm, locking up the top spot for most of the season. The Flames are now nine games from the end of the regular season, and if they can hang on to their nine-point lead with a game in hand they have over the Edmonton Oilers, it will be cause for celebration. The Flames are looking to win their eighth division championship and first since the 2018-2019 season as just the first step of the journey to raising the Stanley Cup. The Flames have been an offensive juggernaut throughout the season as they have four players over 30 goals and another player with 20. No player has been more important than first-line left winger Johnny Gaudreau, who is having a Hart Trophy caliber year for Calgary.
Gaudreau Breaks 100 Point Mark
The 28-year-old Gaudreau has been producing all season as he has reached career highs in assists and points while being two goals away from tying his career-high of 36. This season has been extraordinary as with last night’s game; Johnny Hockey crossed the 100-point mark for the first time in his career as he entered the game with 99 points and ended the game with 101 points thanks to two assists that helped the Flames have a comeback victory over Seattle.
Johnny Hockey Looking to Move Up Franchise Leader Board
Now with 34 goals and 67 assists for 101 points, Gaudreau looks to add on to these totals and cement this season as one of the greatest in franchise history. With his 101 points, Gaudreau ranks tenth all-time for points in a season for Calgary as he has a chance to tie Joe Mullen for second-most points in a season with 110. While the goals, assists, and points totals jump out at you and show how elite his play is, the most eye-popping number is his plus-minus, as his plus 56 leads the NHL. With nine games remaining and the Flames having some easy matchups against the likes of Arizona, Chicago, and Winnipeg, there is a chance that Gaudreau can get the points he needs to move up.
Size Doesn’t Matter, Skill Does
Gaudreau’s talent has never been the question of the 2011 fourth-round 104th overall pick but rather his size. The 5’9″ 165 lbs. Salem, New Jersey native, had the skills to come to the NHL, but many questioned how his size would translate to the NHL level. After another fantastic season, Gaudreau has proven once again that size doesn’t matter, as, through his 593 career games, he has 204 goals and 391 assists for 595 points and 41 game-winning goals.
Gaudreau Looks to Cash in this Offseason
With this season being a contract year as Gaudreau enters the 2022 offseason as the number one free agent, he has set himself up for a massive payday that will fetch a contract in the eight-year $8.5 to $9.5 AAV. Whether he returns to the Flames will be the biggest question looming. They also need to sign Gaudreau’s linemate Matthew Tkachuk to a similar contract and other roster players, leaving Flames General Manager Brad Treliving with a tough offseason to juggle.