Could the next GM of the Blue Jackets really look to move Johnny Gaudreau?

With the Blue Jackets continuing to struggle through a rebuild, rumors are popping up that the incoming GM could explore a Johnny Gaudreau trade. Is that possible?

Columbus Blue Jackets v Montreal Canadiens
Columbus Blue Jackets v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Johnny Gaudreau signed a 7-year contract worth $68.25M to play in Columbus.

We hear talk all the time about guys getting to free agency and finally being able to cash in the big money. Or choose their destination. Or both.

What people cannot seem to wrap their heads around is that Gaudreau didn't want to go to the beaches of Florida. He didn't desire the bright lights of New York City. He didn't want to play hockey in the desert.

Johnny Gaudreau wanted to live a quieter life in a city where he could comfortably raise his family. By choosing Columbus, he took less money to do just that. Note: he took a discount.

Compare him to Artemi Panarin, who at the time of his UFA deal had never scored more than 87 points in the NHL. Gaudreau was coming off of a 115 point season, and took a full $2M less per season.

That contract he signed, by the way, includes one very important stipulation: a full no movement clause through 2025-26.

My question to the rumor mill folks: What makes you all think that just two years after signing this contract, he's going to waive that clause to go somewhere else? The clause that he worked his entire career to earn, to play where he wants.

Better yet, what makes anyone think that the Jackets would need to eat salary, or throw in other pieces to move Gaudreau? Why in the heck would they even want to?

It's an absurd rumor at this point. It's possible that this team could look to move on from this player by the time this contract is over.

But, with the salary cap set to ramp up in a big way over the next couple of years - along with the fact that this team is nowhere near cap trouble to begin with - I just don't see them wanting or needing to trade away a guy who factors in on roughly 30% of the entire team's goals.

That seems like it would be taking steps back towards the beginning of the rebuild. I don't think there's much appetite anywhere near this organization to do that.

Johnny Gaudreau signed in Columbus. The player wants to be here, and the team needs him here. I do think a shakeup is inevitable with this franchise; but I do not think that shakeup involves #13.

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