Top American ice hockey winger Johnny Gaudreau signed a much-anticipated seven-year, $68.25 million (average annual value of $9.75 million) contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets last month. Since then, he has been enjoying some quiet time with his loved ones.
The 29-year-old visited with family and friends in his native New Jersey and played the Checking for Charity hockey tournament last weekend. This came as a major respite for Gaudreau from the whirlwind of changes that had been going on for the last month. Apart from a new contract with a new team, Johnny also has a new baby on the way.
“It’s been a crazy month,” Gaudreau said, as quoted by NHL.com. “Obviously right now just spending time with my family, enjoying the summer, seeing friends and people I don’t get to see throughout the year, so it’s been pretty mellow for now.
“It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been a crazy two months here. It’s exciting and we’re really looking forward to getting out to Columbus and starting this next little chapter of our life.”
“Coach Brad Larsen excited about me coming on board”
Gaudreau, who led the Calgary Flames last season, was tied for second in the National Hockey League (NHL) with 115 points (40 goals, 75 assists) in 82 regular-season games. As a result, the Flames reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 12 games.
He added: “I’ve chatted with him (Larsen) for a little bit, only once or twice. He’s just excited, excited for our team, he’s excited about me coming on board with the Blue Jackets. It’s kind of just small talk, getting to know each other a little bit. I’m sure all the systems and stuff like that will come into place when I get there. But for now, just kind of small talk.”