Despite the Flames doing "everything" they could to keep Gaudreau, he decides to sign free agency.

The Calgary Flames' prospects for a Stanley Cup run in 2022 were boosted by Johnny Gaudreau, a small forward, but his decision to test free agency has drastically altered the team's outlook for the remainder of the off-season.

Gaudreau's departure from Calgary was almost assured by Flames general manager Brad Treliving, who thanked him for "eight terrific years" during a press conference on Tuesday night.

It's been, to put it mildly, a dismal day, he remarked. "I can reassure our supporters that we did all in our power to keep John in Calgary. I want to send my warmest wishes to him and his family.

"I firmly believe that this was a family decision, and I appreciate it to the fullest extent. We value John the person and the athlete equally, and he has every right to do so."

One of the top unrestricted free agents, Gaudreau finished last season with 115 points (40 goals, 75 assists), tied for second in the NHL, and helped the Flames win the Pacific Division.