Johnny Gaudreau, commonly referred to as Johnny Hockey, has arguably been one of the best players in the NHL during recent years. The Flames forward helped the team reach the second round of the playoffs this season, netting 14 points in 12 games before losing in 5 games to the Edmonton Oilers. The American 28 year old is a pending unrestricted free agent and will likely get north of $9 Million dollars a season over the course of a long term contract. With over a point per game in his 602 game NHL career to date, Gaudreau is easily the top free agent of the off-season.
This season, Gaudreau put up 40 goals and added 75 assists for 115 points in 82 games. This crushed his previous career high in points that was set in the 2018-19 season where he amassed 99. It's definitely a reach for the Blackhawks to take a look at Gaudreau, but the benefits and positives strongly outweigh the risks and negatives. Gaudreau is a guy that can go anywhere in the lineup and help his teammates become better versions of themselves. He is a leader on and off the ice, which will only help boost dressing room morale, and his 200 foot game remains elite, amongst the best in the NHL.
Will the Blackhawks sign Johnny Gaudreau...probably not. But, assuming they decide to go all out and make some moves to free up the money, Gaudreau would be an amazing addition to the core of the Hawks. Playing alongside guys like Kane, Toews, Debrincat, etc. would only further prove why he is one of the best players on the planet. He is good anywhere he plays, whether it be the powerplay or at 5v5, he is the best player on the ice 95% of the time. If the team opts to trade Debrincat like the rumors believe, Gaudreau would be the perfect replacement for the top line in Chicago.