Johnny Gaudreau (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Calgary Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau is having his nickname trademarked and apparently some folks are freaking out about it. This is not something to freak out about.
So apparently there's a controversy out West because Calgary Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau and his agent decided to trademark the nickname 'Johnny Hockey.' This is a stupid, non-story.
Timing is a funny thing: I just put the finishing touches on a story about Gaudreau for our next issue of the magazine, which has a rookie theme. Gaudreau, of course, is having a season worthy of Calder Trophy consideration and the 'Johnny Hockey' nickname is a holdover from his days at Boston College. It was a takeoff on 'Johnny Football' Manziel, who was a quarterback at Texas A & M at the time and the B.C. pep band would play Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" every time Gaudreau scored.
So is Gaudreau all of a sudden some kind of glory boy trying to cash in on fame? No. His agent, Lewis Gross, thought it would be a good idea to trademark the name so that Gaudreau would have it, just in case – that's what Guy Gaudreau, his father, told me.
And that makes total sense, because you don't want some yahoo selling 'Johnny Hockey' firecrackers to kids, or people hawking T-shirts with less-than-flattering add-ons to the nickname (which apparently has already happened).
Speaking with Gaudreau's old USHL coach Jim Montgomery (now with the University of Denver), it became quite clear that the dynamic young winger is no attention hound. Montgomery told me that Gaudreau was more of an Original Six yes-sir-no-sir kind of player around the coaches, even if he was looser around his teammates. And talking with the player himself, I didn't get the sense that he sits around all day thinking about how he can exploit his "brand."
The funniest thing about all this is that back home in New Jersey, nobody even calls him "Johnny." To friends and family, he has always been John Gaudreau.