Columbus, Ohio – Johnny Goudreau Boos had been booed to various levels at any time when blue jackets Performed on the east coast this season. Followers in New Jersey had been the loudest, however he additionally acquired comets in Philadelphia and Lengthy Island.
It’s simply defined: demonsAnd Flyers And Islanders They had been all thought-about potential locations final summer time when Gaudreau, of Carney’s Level Township, NJ, opted to signal as a free agent with Columbus.
In a way, these three experiences could be seen as a warm-up. Gaudreau is aware of what awaits him in Calgary on Monday, when he returns to play his first recreation in opposition to flame Since making the choice to vary organizations final summer time.
There are some ardent fan bases on the market NHL “However Canada is a special degree,” Goudreau stated. “They love their workforce, that is why I beloved taking part in there a lot. I’ve beloved being a part of that group for 12, 13 years. It will be enjoyable to come back again.
“It may be a very completely different expertise. (The Flames followers) have been so supportive of me my complete time there. They seem to be a passionate fanbase. They love the Flames. We’ll see what occurs.”
This can be a principally new expertise for the Blue Jackets as properly.
They have been on the opposite facet of that, although, with ex-players Pierre Luc DuboisAnd Artemy PanarinAnd Sergei Bobrovsky And even Rick Nash is showered with boos after they return to the Nationwide Area after their messy or embarrassing departures.
Gaudreau stated leaving Calgary was a tricky determination, one he solely got here to phrases with hours earlier than he grew to become an unrestricted free agent. He signed a seven-year, $68.25 million contract extension with Columbus on July 13.
He drew important criticism from each Alberta followers and the media, not just for stringing alongside the flames—shedding him through free company presents no compensation—but additionally for signing with the Blue Jackets, who weren’t thought-about as a possible vacation spot.
This sparked a serious roster revamp with the Flames, who shortly moved into the commerce wing Matthew Tkachuk earlier than they meet the identical destiny when his contract expires after one yr. As such, two-thirds of the NHL’s high streak in 2021-22 went from Calgary.
Gaudreau had one of many nice seasons in NHL historical past with the Flames: 40 objectives, 75 assists, and a plus-64 ranking.
“They beloved[Goudreau],” stated Blue Jackets linebacker Eric Goodbrason, who additionally left Calgary to signal with Columbus as a free agent over the summer time.
“That season, each time he touched the puck they had been on the finish of their bench ready for one thing to occur, and from time to time he would do one thing. I believe that they had plenty of respect for him.”
However hell has no fury like a abandoned sports activities fan.
“I spoke to Tkachuk (now with fl) when he returned (to Calgary on November 29), Goudreau stated. “All of us perceive. Sport is nice. It brings folks collectively.
“I performed (in Calgary) for 9 years, and I had some nice recollections. Now they’re most likely a little bit upset that I am not round anymore. Yeah I acquired it.”
Gaudreau had been ready for at the present time to come back nearly ever since he determined to signal with the Blue Jackets.
“It may have been completed in October or November,” he stated with a smile. Largely, although, he acquired uninterested in speaking about it, and needed to clarify (again and again) why he left Calgary for Columbus.
The Blue Jackets spent Sunday touring to Calgary, so the extreme lights of this recreation will shine for at some point solely. The Jackets will take a morning sled on the Saddledome on Monday, play the sport that night, then fly a put up recreation to Edmonton earlier than Wednesday’s recreation in opposition to oilers.
Gaudreau and Gudbranson are prone to have “Welcome Again” movies on the Saddledome scoreboard through the first interval TV hiatus.
“I am undoubtedly excited to be again,” stated Goudreau. “I am excited to see some acquainted faces, play in opposition to my former teammates, and play on the ‘Dome once more. … It may be enjoyable.
“(The video) goes to carry up some nice recollections. It may be a minute, a minute and a half fast. It might be good to get acknowledged after which play the remainder of the sport.”
Gaudreau was the offensive spur the Blue Jackets had anticipated, although his play waned as a way of desperation enveloped the season. In 45 video games, he has 42 factors (12-30-42), tied for the lead in objectives Patrick Lanemain the membership in assists and factors.
However he does not have anyplace close to the assist workforce he performed with in Calgary. From the early levels of this season, the Blue Jackets performed as a lottery workforce, not as a playoff contender as Gaudreau had hoped.
“It has been a tricky yr,” Goudreau stated. “We have had our ups and downs and accidents and stuff. It may be enjoyable to come back again (to Calgary) whether or not we’re first or final. Will probably be a particular night time.”
Goudreau, Goodbranson, and the Blue Jackets beat the Flames 3-1 on Dec. 9 in Columbus, taking part in one in every of their finest video games of the season. Discovering an emotional attachment to the current video games has been tough, but it surely should not be an issue on Monday.
How can Gaudreau’s new teammates finest assist him?
“Simply play our asses and get his win there,” stated winger Gus Nyquist. “I’m positive it would imply rather a lot to him.
“I am positive (Calgary) actually wished to maintain him. Any workforce on this league would need Johnny Goudreau on their hockey workforce. We’re fortunate to be those who acquired him.”
Video games earlier this season on the east coast gave the Blue Jackets a little bit glimpse of what is to come back on Monday.
“I have never heard boos like that in Jersey since I have been on a workforce Brad Marchandstated the Blue Jackets heart Sean Corally, a former Boston Bruin. However the boos are the best way cheers are in the home.
“You simply need him to really feel like perhaps he is a little bit greater than that, as a teammate, you are with him and also you’re behind him.”
(Prime photograph by Johnny Goudreau: Ben Jackson/NHLI through Getty Pictures)