I’ll be honest: There is no news here. This is a fresh thread to alleviate the load (and possibly vitriol and confusion) on our Free Agency Day 1 thread as it eclipsed 1,200 comments.
The New York Islanders were reportedly “in” on the bidding for top free agent Johnny Gaudreau, who is leaving Calgary to come back East closer to his South Jersey roots.
Although, not that far East. Apparently he’s accepted a whopper offer from...the Columbus Blue Jackets? Yes, the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team that also just gave $16 million over four years to Erik Gudbranson.
So reported many Hockey Insiders early Wednesday evening.
Johnny Gaudreau is going to Columbus— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 13, 2022
Can also confirm that Calgary’s last offer to Johnny Gaudreau was 8 years x $10.5 M AAV.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 13, 2022
So as expected the star UFA leaves money on the table to go East.
Although still a nice deal with Columbus obviously.
Throughout the day, as team after team signed players big and small, cheap and expensive, reasonable and perplexing, the New Jersey Devils and the Islanders were reported to be the front-runners for Gaudreau’s services. (I’ll be honest, maybe it’s being jaded, maybe it’s wisdom, maybe it’s self-defense, or maybe it’s a rational look at the Islanders’ still-tricky cap situation, but I never believed the Isles had a chance, not for one minute.)
During that time, there were reports of a mega offer from the Blue Jackets, but that was treated almost with derision. “Haha, Columbus. At least you can say you tried.”
Turns out that actually applies to the Isles and Devils. Reportedly.
Anyway, in keeping with what is now Lou tradition, the Islanders announced no other signings or moves on this day. Here’s a fresh comment thread to discuss what that means.
Mike and Dan will do an Islanders Anxiety to react to the long and tortured yet familiar path to this non-news.
.@TheBigLeebowski and I will be recording an episode of Islanders Anxiety tonight that, I feel, might end up being pretty popular.— Dan (@cultureoflosing) July 13, 2022
One other thought for discussion: How do you think this ends up for Gaudreau?