Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames
Johnny Gaudreau is the best free agent on the market this season, and every team is going to be watching what he does in the playoffs. Some might want to be convinced to spend big money on him. If the Devils want to be in the Johnny Gaudreau sweepstakes, they need to be willing to shell out a deal similar to what they spent on Dougie Hamilton, if not more.
One of the reasons Devils fans have always looked at Gaudreau is he’s from New Jersey. He was born in Salem, New Jersey, and he played high school hockey in Gloucester City. Obviously, this isn’t exactly Devils country. That is where you find one too many Philadelphia Flyers fans.
It’s not going to be a “dream come true” for Gaudreau to come play for the Devils as some might hope, but he might be looking at coming closer to home. The Flyers are no doubt going to be huge players for Gaudreau if the Flames don’t just take the plunge and hand him a blank check. It would be hard to let Gaudreau go, but the Flames might not have a choice with a $9 million qualifying offer coming for Matthew Tkachuk.
There’s not much the Devils can learn about Gaudreau they don’t already know, but it would be nice to get some confirmation on the process if the Devils are even considering the price it would take to get Johnny Hockey. He has a total of 30 playoff games under his belt coming into this postseason. If things go right, he can come close to doubling that. A big postseason run could get the Devils to think he is the final forward piece for this team.