Rumor: Johnny Gaudreau on trading block just 2 years after signing.
Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports  

Rumor: Johnny Gaudreau on trading block just 2 years after signing.

Johnny Gaudreau's stay as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets could prove to be a short one.

Jonathan Larivee

A steep decline in production from Columbus Blue Jackets star forward Johnny Gaudreau has once again resulted in his name floating around in the rumor mill.

Gaudreau is currently in just the 2nd year of a 7 year deal that carries an average annual value and salary cap hit of $9.75 million per season, but has picked up just 11 goals and 41 assists for a total of 52 points this season. That is a steep price for Gaudreau's relative level of production, a level of production that marks a significant decline compared to last season and an even greater decline when compared to his final season as a member of the Calgary Flames.

Gaudreau's contract was signed by former Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe believes that the next general manager of the Blue Jackets is likely to consider moving on from his predecessors big free agent pickup.

From Dupont:

Not out of the question that the incoming GM (to be named) looks to move Johnny Hockey to a contender of Gaudreau’s liking, albeit with the Jackets retaining, say, one-third of his salary.

Even with a third of the salary retained it could prove to be a challenge for the new Blue Jackets to move the 30-year old Gaudreau given his year over year decline over the course of the past two seasons.

That's before even mentioning the fact that Gaudreau himself could prove to be a complication in any attempts at trading him given that Kekalainen included a full no-movement clause in the first 4 years of Gaudreau's contract. Gaudreau will have the power to veto any potential trades,  so the Blue Jackets would need to convince him to accept the move as well.