Johnny Gaudreau Reportedly on Blue Jackets Trade Block

Tom Banks
March 24, 2024  (9:06 PM)

Johnny Gaudreau of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Photo credit: The Hockey Writers

Despite arriving just two seasons ago, Johnny Hockey may be on the way out of Columbus with a new General Manager incoming.

In two seasons with the team, Gaudreau has tallied just 126 points in 151 games after a career high 115 in his final season with the Calgary Flames, and their front office may be growing impatient. With a new General Manager on the way, Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe has revealed there is a real possibility that Johnny Hockey could be on the way out.
Not out of the question that the incoming GM (to be named) looks to move Johnny Hockey to a contender of Gaudreau's liking, albeit with the Jackets retaining, say, one-third of his salary.

Unfortunately for that General Manager, Gaudreau is signed for another five seasons with a salary cap hit of $9.75 million per season, and at 30-years of age, it's highly unlikely that the new face in charge wants to be tied to that. The problem now becomes, who wants to take on an ageing star who has always been small by NHL standards, who has yet to produce more than one 100 point season in his career?
There were whispers that Calgary could be looking for a reunion, but unless the Blue Jackets take on Jonathan Huberdeau's contract, that won't be likely, and it's highly unlikely that any team out there wants to swallow that whole contract.
In Columbus, the team are building a solid group led by Adam Fantilli, Kent Johnson, David Jiricek and Cole Sillinger, along with a top pick in the upcoming draft, so Gaudreau clearly doesn't fit into those plans. It might be tough on Gaudreau given the talent around him, but he simply needs to produce more, and if not, it appears as though he's on his way out unless something changes drastically.