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Blue Jackets’ Johnny Gaudreau latest to face fans’ wrath

Blue Jackets' Johnny Gaudreau latest to face fans' wrath

On Monday night, Johnny Gaudreau experienced that awkward sensation of running into an ex when the Columbus Blue Jackets faced the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

After spending nine seasons with the Flames, his first NHL team, Gaudreau left for the Blue Jackets despite an offer from his old team for eight years at a reported average annual value of more than $10 million per year. The Flames faithful let him hear it in his first game back, booing him mercilessly when he first touched the puck and cheering when he failed to convert a penalty shot in opening first period. Gaudreau’s teammates did try to prepare him for it by booing him during pregame warmups.

If we were to include every contentious homecoming in sports, this article would drag on longer than the aforementioned awkward encounter with your ex. So instead we’ll just regale you with some of the most memorable ones over the years.

LeBron James in Cleveland, 2010

LeBron James went from hailed as a hero to jeered as a villain quicker than the writers of “Game of Thrones.”

The environment was nothing short of combative as LeBron James returned to Cleveland for the first time as a member of the Miami Heat. The feelings of betrayal, disappointment and vitriol directed at him were tangible in the arena — and in the city as a whole.

LeBron hadn’t just been the most popular sports figure in town, he was one of their own. So his departure for South Beach brought about a different level of anguish to the championship-starved city that had its hopes and dreams resting upon his shoulders.

The “kid from Akron” was showered in boos and obscenities from former fans. Some of them threw things (including beverages and a battery); others held signs featuring things such as: “Quitness,” “Witnessed No Championship,” along with the more straightforward “I Hate LeBron.” According to the team, four fans were ejected and one was arrested that night.

King James powered through the animosity to score 38 points en route to a 118-90 Heat win.

Spoiler: LeBron would go on to regain Cleveland’s love with a…

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