Gaudreau hoping teams will ‘keep sleeping on’ Blue Jackets in 2023-24

Gaudreau hoping teams will 'keep sleeping on' Blue Jackets in 2023-24

Johnny Gaudreau is hoping his Columbus Blue Jackets can take some teams by surprise in 2023-24.

“The amount of skill we have on our team with some of the young guys, it’s pretty fun to watch every day in practice and in games,” he said in a recent interview with’s Adam Kimelman. “Hopefully, a few teams keep sleeping on us.

“I know we have the talent in our locker room and the right guys, and hopefully, we can build together as a team and come together as a team and do something special.”

Columbus was decimated by injuries last season. Star defenseman Zach Werenski missed the vast majority of the campaign due to a shoulder injury, while sniper Patrik Laine had three stints on the shelf and last suited up for a game in March.

No player on the roster skated in all 82 games, but Gaudreau was close, leading the team with 53 assists and 74 points in 80 contests. The Blue Jackets finished the year with a 25-48-9 record, 33 points out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Columbus responded by firing bench boss Brad Larsen after two seasons, replacing him with Mike Babcock, who last coached in the NHL in 2019.

Along with the much-needed time off to get healthy, Gaudreau is confident that the coaching change will do wonders for the Blue Jackets after a “tough year.”

“We need that hard-nosed coach that’s going to push us in practices and in games,” he said. “I’m excited to get out there and start the season off with him, and I think we’re going to have a good year this year.”

Gaudreau signed a seven-year, $68.25-million contract with the Blue Jackets last summer after posting 40 goals and 115 points during his final season with the Calgary Flames.

The 30-year-old said he’s feeling “a lot more comfortable” ahead of Year 2 in Columbus.

“I know all the guys, the whole organization,” Gaudreau said. “Getting to know the city really well. … Just starting to feel more like home. That’s what we wanted.”

The Blue Jackets added Ivan Provorov, Damon Severson, and 2023 third overall pick Adam Fantilli to their ranks as they look to make their first playoff appearance since 2020.

Columbus’ 2023-24 campaign opens Oct. 12 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Copyright © 2023 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Full Story »


Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

More in News

Sharks get bad news on major summer trade acquisition

He is still listed as day-to-day, and it’s unclear whether ...

Blue Jackets star defenseman suffers injury after collision

He logged 13:43 of ice time over 16 shifts before ...

Wild’s Evason irked by Goligoski’s ‘really stupid’ unsportsmanlike penalty

Wild head coach Dean Evason singled out Alex Goligoski after ...

NHL 2023-24 Stanley Cup playoff chances and projected standings

Our NHL projections and probabilities page highlights each team’s projected ...

Canes 2-0 after winning in ninth round of shootout

It took nine rounds of a shootout, but the Carolina ...

Trending on Ice Hockey Chronicle

Newly retired David Krejci is considering playing in the Czech league next season

When Boston Bruins center David Krejci officially announced his retirement, ...

Bedard not comparing himself to McDavid: I’m ‘my own player’

Despite matching first names and sharing similar generational hype before ...

NHL breakout tiers: Predicting the new wave of superstars

From young players set to level up to superstar, to ...

Avalanche’s Cale Makar selected as ‘NHL 24’ cover athlete

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar will be the cover athlete ...