Former Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau was one of the hottest names on the NHL Free Agent market. He did not sign with anyone right away, and he kept his options open. Gaudreau was linked to NHL teams like the Philadelphia Flyers, the New Jersey Devils, and the New York Islanders. Well, all of those teams struck out on him. 

The winner of the Johnny Gaudreau sweepstakes is the Columbus Blue Jackets. This was the shocker of them all as Columbus landed its best player since having Artemi Panarin a few years ago. However, if you got that correctly, you can view the best online casino and try to win money there. Also, what does this mean moving forward for the Columbus Blue Jackets franchise?

Impact

Well, his contract is worth seven years, and he will be getting $9.5 million per season. Johnny Gaudreau is going to sell jerseys in a hurry for this franchise. Columbus always supports their hockey team, no matter how good or bad they are. 

The Blue Jackets’ rebuild might go a little quicker now than anticipated. However, Columbus feels like another year or two away from being a playoff team in the Metropolitan Division. 

Having Gaudreau on board means the possibility of moving Patrik Laine. Johnny Gaudreau did not want to play for the Calgary Flames anymore. He has played his entire career with them and wanted to be a lot closer to home. 

Gaudreau is from the state of New Jersey. It was surprising that he didn’t sign with the Flyers or Devils. Not signing with the Islanders didn’t seem as surprising because who honestly signs with them in free agency anyway? 

How Did They Get Him?

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen did a great job pursuing this and keeping this under wraps. Head coach Brad Larsen will be happy to have him around the locker room. Columbus has a lot of young players on their roster. 

They are not particularly deep at the center position but have some young wings for the future. The blue line isn’t bad, and the goaltending tandem of Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins is also good as well. 

Rest of the Roster

Jack Roslvic is one of the top centers on this roster, but why did he choose him over Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils? It is one thing to pass up on Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders, but something must have changed Johnny Gaudreau’s mind to be with the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Cole Sillinger and Olivier Bjorkstrand are some of the key players on this roster, along with Boone Jenner and Jakub Voracek. Zach Werenski is the best defenseman on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Johnny Gaudreau will make Columbus a fun hockey team to watch, but the playoffs will not be for them yet.

Competition

Teams like the Carolina Hurricanes, the New York Rangers, and the Pittsburgh Penguins will all be better than the next season. They could try to be better than the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders. 

Columbus will be better than the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers. Johnny Gaudreau had an MVP-caliber year in 2021-2022 with the Calgary Flames (Hart Trophy), but he did not win it. 

His numbers could dip with the Columbus Blue Jackets, but this is still a very big day and splash for them and that city. We will see what steps they take next, though also. 

Columbus actually did have a better year last season than most people expected. One of the main reasons why Johnny Gaudreau chose this destination is because of low expectations, and the media market for the Blue Jackets isn’t all over you. 

Columbus, Ohio, will get all over the Ohio State Buckeyes college football program before anything else over there, though.

However, this should be a great day for the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team because they chose them over the teams in the New York area and that media market is tough going and also rough when times get tough.

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