Well folks, Johnny has left the building! Gaudreau, the unofficial face of the Calgary Flames, stunned the hockey world last night, with a surprise signing in… Columbus. Here’s a quick recap of what happened, and the best reactions to the news.
In a conference with the media, Flames GM Brad Treliving noted that Gaudreau had made a “family decision” to enter free agency, ending an 8 year run with the team…
“It is my strong belief that this was a family decision and I respect that fully. John has every right and we have nothing but respect for John the player and John the person.”
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) July 13, 2022
So naturally, it came as a little bit of a shock that the team Gaudreau chose to move from Calgary to was the Columbus Blue Jackets. For reference, the city is roughly an 8 hour drive away from Gaudreau’s hometown of Salem, New Jersey. Regarding the move, Gaudreau said that “”They’ve always had great crowds, really into the game. I said to myself then, ‘This looks like a really fun place to play.'”
However, it’s left both Flames fans and the general public in a little bit of awe about the decision. So, let’s check out the best (and funniest) reactions to it!
First off, a reminder of what ended up being Gaudreau’s last shift as a Calgary Flame.
this is johnny gaudreau’s last shift in calgary. the edmonton oilers completely broke the flames. pic.twitter.com/dFw6kC4t6Q
— zach laing (@zjlaing) July 13, 2022
To say that fan sentiment has shifted is a bit of an understatement…
Johnny Gaudreau wasn’t cut out for a market like Calgary. High expectations. Hockey mad city. He wanted it easy. The Flames will recover and move on. He’s not leading anyone to a Stanley Cup anytime soon.
— Sid Seixeiro (@Sid_Seixeiro) July 14, 2022
AGENT: Johnny, we just got an offer from Col—
GAUDREAU: I’ll take it
GAUDREAU: fuck https://t.co/nTNUMk82Zx
— Carmen Monoxide (@AnthraxJones) July 13, 2022
The Flames even gave Gaudreau an unlimited ride pass at the Calgary Stampede. When he could only ride half the rides, he felt slighted and rejected their offer.
— Ben (@Ben_in_yeg) July 13, 2022
the johnny gaudreau sweepstakes (2022, colourized) pic.twitter.com/Jyf3hJzRI5
— Ava (@avatarrant) July 13, 2022
had a dream Johnny Gaudreau signed with the Blue Jackets last night lmao that’s the last time I eat cheese before bed
— Mike Stephens (@mikeystephens81) July 14, 2022
Heck, even Calgary’s former mayor, Naheed Nenshi, was in disbelief…
So I spent a lot of time living and working in Columbus. Nice people and lovely vibrant city. But Calgary is so much better. Not sure I’d leave $12+ million on the table to leave here for there. Of course, I will never see $12 million in my life, let alone $80 million.
— Naheed Nenshi (@nenshi) July 14, 2022
Alongside the GM of the Blue Jackets, and even Paul Bissonnette…
I love how even the Blue Jackets GM didn’t understand why Gaudreau would want to play there pic.twitter.com/y8bnV22K5D
— colin horgan (@cfhorgan) July 14, 2022
— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) July 13, 2022
Of course, it isn’t all doom and gloom, as Oilers fans are having a little fun with the surprise signing…
As a lifelong Oilers fan, I hate the Calgary Flames with a fiery passion but I don’t think I hate them enough to leave $15 million on the table to sign in Columbus instead. Gaudreau’s hatred of Calgary is honestly inspiring. My muse. My quarterback.
— Baggedmilk (@jsbmbaggedmilk) July 13, 2022
And naturally, we can’t forget that Gaudreau was an incredible asset for the Flames, averaging over a point per game across his entire stint here. So with that, we look forward, and wish him nothing but the best in one of America’s greatest cities- Columbus, Ohio.
For the last 8 years, it was a pleasure having you in Calgary.
Thank you, Johnny. pic.twitter.com/trbpro1MPd
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) July 14, 2022