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Friday, July 08, 2016

On Philly Sports Radio, Gaudreau Talks Contract and Idea of One Day Playing Closer to Home

Back home in New Jersey for the summer as is the case every off-season, Flames left winger Johnny Gaudreau stopped by SportsRadio 914WIP in Philadelphia on Friday morning to promote his upcoming Johnny Gaudreau Scholarship Golf Tournament.

Proceeds from the July 29 event at Blue Heron Pines Golf Club in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey, will benefit the Gloucester Catholic Junior Senior High School scholarship fund. Of course, Gloucester Catholic is where Gaudreau went to school and the hockey team is coached by Guy Gaudreau, Johnny’s dad.

In the 17-minute in-studio interview with co-hosts Al Morganti and Keith Jones, a variety of other hockey topics came up, a few of which will be of interest to Flames fans.



On when he knew he belonged in the NHL:
"Throughout my career, each level -- whether it was USHL, college, or NHL -- I always put in the back of my mind my first few weeks, this is a bigger step for me. Am I going to be able to produce? Am I going to be able to do what I've been doing throughout my life here?"
"My first few games in my career in the NHL, I started off with a slow start. I put in the back of my mind, do I belong here? Am I going to get sent down to the AHL? I got scratched for one game and the next game, I was like, this is where I belong. I'm going to come out here and show them I belong here and thankfully played well that next game and my career took off from there. I was pretty fortunate, the Flames gave me a lot of opportunities my first rookie season.”

On Bob Hartley:
“Bob did a tremendous job with me. There's not too many better spots I would have liked to be at. He did a great job with me in my first season in the NHL, showing me how important the defensive zone is and if you're playing well in the defensive zone, it’s just going to lead to more time in the offensive zone. I thank Bob a ton for everything he did for me those first few seasons. He gave me opportunities on the power play, 4-on-4, 3-on-3, gave me all the chances to thrive in this game.”

On Glen Gulutzan and the upcoming season:
"I'm excited. I've heard some great things about him and I'm really looking forward to this next season. Our team did a pretty good job signing some good free agents and we did well in the draft, we picked up a couple goaltenders so I'm really excited for the season coming up."

On playing hockey in Calgary:
“It really is (a different world). They're passionate fans about the game. My first month-and-a-half to two months, I noticed I could go most places in Calgary and not get recognized at all and not talk about hockey. When that third, fourth month hit, I was going into Starbucks to get coffees and next thing you know, I'm in there for 25 minutes talking about the Flames last night and talking about what we did wrong and right. As the season went on and my second season went on, I could tell how passionate these fans were about hockey. It's a fun, fun city to play in for me.”

On the idea of one day playing closer to home:
"It's hard to say cause I'm right in the middle of a contract right now and Calgary's been so great to me but obviously, playing in your own country and playing close to the East Coast and playing close to your family is something that sounds really great at times. I think a lot of players like to play in their own country."
"It would be a lot easier for my family and friends to be able to watch a few games in their own time zone instead of two time zones away. I remember last year in the playoffs, my parents are like, ‘We're getting to bed at 1 and 2 in the morning, we're so jacked up from the game. How are we supposed to go to bed when we don't fall asleep until 4 a.m.!’ I'm like, I'm sorry it's far, far away. But it was a great first few seasons and I know they enjoyed it."

On contract negotiations:
"They don't bring up the round I was drafted in. They just bring up things throughout my season that I've done well and things that I haven't done well. There's two sides to it. My agent's side and then the Flames side. We're right in the middle of that right now. It's been good. We're inching along here a little bit, as the summer goes on. I know my GM was really busy, he was at the World Championships and he had the draft and free agency and now player development camp is just over. So the rest of the summer, he can calm down a little bit and we can work on (the contract) a little bit more."

On getting 'Johnny Hockey' trademarked:
"The only reason we did that, my agent thought it was a good idea at the time as there were t-shirts coming out and there were slogans that he didn't want my name associated with."
"We haven't done anything with it. We just wanted to make sure we trademarked it so nobody else would do anything with it. Honestly, we haven't done anything with it, I don't think we will do anything with it, I just wanted to protect myself with that name."

On the golf tournament’s importance:
"It's difficult now. Some people, some families, you know how difficult it is to get into these private schools. Doing this golf tournament and just trying to help families out to have the special experience that I had growing up, going to Gloucester Catholic. Hopefully help some younger kids that want to play hockey for GC and hopefully play for my dad, and hopefully help him win a state championship."



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    6 comments:

    1. I was surprised to see that Gaudreau and Monahan were listed as the pros assisting Hartley at his annual summer hockey camp in the US (given his reputation for being so demanding). I had wondered if his firing might affect their feelings about the Flames (or if their apparently good relationship with Hartley might not be shared by some of their teammates).

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      1. A couple things to keep in mind. While Hartley was a demanding coach, he was also a very good coach for both of them. While some young players struggled to get ice time, Hartley full trusted both of them and they played a lot. He was very good for their careers and they are no doubt appreciative. Also, just because you may not like how he runs practices and the demands, it doesn't mean they don't like the person away from the rink. It's good to not burn bridges in any business and continuing to help out at a camp like this -- at least for this year where they might very well had committed before Hartley's dismissal -- is a courteous thing to do and the right thing to do. It's like breaking up with your girlfriend/boyfriend but remaining good friends.

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      2. Sean Monahan spoke very highly of Bob Hartley after the firing. I think it was on Fan 960 when Monahan said (paraphrasing), "Why would I complain about a coach who gave me the kind of ice time he gave me?"

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    2. From Johnny's quotes it doesn't sound like he loves it in Calgary - more of it was it'd be nice if my friends & family could watch more games and playing in the states... hopefully it's a 7 or 8 yr signing and we can stop this chatter for a long while

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      1. I think it came across worse than it is. If you listen to the actual interview, Al Morganti in particular was really trying to get him to confess a desire to play in the East and he wasn't biting. Morganti phrased one question, "Wouldn't it be more prestigious to play out here?" The example I gave earlier was if this was a trial, Morganti was essentially leading the witness and would have been reprimanded! Being a nice guy and on the air in that market, Gaudreau played along with the idea as it was presented that sure, it would be nice if friends and family were in the same time zone but I wouldn't view it as show-stopper stuff. You're right in that a 7-8 year deal would end that chatter.

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      2. I think it came across worse than it is. If you listen to the actual interview, Al Morganti in particular was really trying to get him to confess a desire to play in the East and he wasn't biting. Morganti phrased one question, "Wouldn't it be more prestigious to play out here?" The example I gave earlier was if this was a trial, Morganti was essentially leading the witness and would have been reprimanded! Being a nice guy and on the air in that market, Gaudreau played along with the idea as it was presented that sure, it would be nice if friends and family were in the same time zone but I wouldn't view it as show-stopper stuff. You're right in that a 7-8 year deal would end that chatter.

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