Gaudreau, Flames agree to six-year extension


Johnny Gaudreau's contract dispute with the Calgary Flames came down to the final week of the offseason, but the two sides have finalised a deal.

Gaudreau and the Flames announced a six-year contract extension on Monday, two days before they open the regular season against the Edmonton Oilers.

The deal is worth a total of $40.5million ($6.75m average annual value), according to TSN, and includes a $3m signing bonus.

It is a bit of a bargain for the 23-year-old, who finished tied for sixth in the NHL with 78 points last season - his second as a pro.

He was expected to command upward of $7m per year, but the Flames insisted on a more manageable figure with much of their cap space already tied up in long-term contracts.

"As I have always said, I just want to play hockey," Gaudreau wrote in a tweet announcing the extension.

"I want to be there for my team-mates and for the fans of Calgary. I want to thank my family and my agent for all their support during this process. I couldn't have done it without them."

Gaudreau, a restricted free agent, has 143 points in 160 NHL games.

Drafted in the fourth round by Calgary in 2011, he has blossomed into the most prominent of the Flames' talented young nucleus, which includes high picks such as Sean Monahan, Dougie Hamilton and Sam Bennett.

Bennett's rookie deal expires after this season, so the Flames will have more cap crunching to do next year.