Two weeks ago, Jonathan Huberdeau’s life changed when he was trade from the Florida Panthers to the Calgary Flames. On Thursday evening, his life changed again after he finalized an eight-year contract extension that will keep him in Calgary through the 2030-31 season.
As with many things in life, the signing process was accelerated over dinner.
On Monday, Flames general manager Brad Treliving made a trip to Montreal and broke bread with Huberdeau. Per the player, the two had never met before and so it was a chance for them to get to know each other.
“And obviously that dinner went really well,” shared Huberdeau during a chat with the assembled media on Friday. “We got along, and obviously get the signature, and now I’m in for the next nine years and I’m excited. I’m excited to work with Brad.”
After spending 10 years with the Panthers organization, Huberdeau admitted he was shocked by the trade and was “a little down” following the transaction. He noted that Treliving going to the trouble of meeting him in person had an impact.
“It meant a lot,” said Huberdeau. “He didn’t have to do that. We could’ve had a Zoom or something like that, but I think in person that’s how you get to know someone better. And I appreciated for him to take the time to come and see me from Calgary. It’s not a short flight. And we just had a great conversation. He flew back right after and that made me think that they really care about me and they want me to stay there for a lot of years.”
While Huberdeau largely left the business side of the negotiations between Treliving and Huberdeau’s agent Allan Walsh, he chatted with a few different people during the process including former Flames goaltender Louis Domingue, current head coach Darryl Sutter and even majority owner Murray Edwards.
Ultimately, Huberdeau’s decision to lock in with the Flames for the long haul came from feeling wanted by the hockey club and feeling that he has a chance to win in Calgary.
“I wanted to sign long-term,” said Huberdeau. “They traded for me and I know that they wanted me. They were talking highly about me. When you hear that, you want to play for a team that wants you, and that’s why it was so important to me and I think show dedication to them. I want to give back to the community already and I’m just excited to obviously go there and get to know the city a little bit more.”
Huberdeau downplayed the size of the contract and noted that he doesn’t want to let it put pressure on him, but also acknowledged that he knows what he’s capable of – he’s coming off being tied for second in the NHL in points – and wants to be a leader on and off the ice.
“The way my career has been, always went up, always played better year after year,” said Huberdeau. “It’s the same attitude I have this year: I want to be better than last year, and so on and so on. I think you’re more mature at my age and you know what you have to do to get better. And I want to bring that with the Flames next year. Like I said, we want to win, and I want to give everything I have so we can win a Stanley Cup.”
Huberdeau had a fairly succinct assessment of how he views the club after signing his extension.
“The future is looking bright. It’s not in two, three years. I think it’s now we want to win. And that’s why I signed here.”
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- Flames sign Jonathan Huberdeau to contract extension (8 years, $10.5 million AAV)
- A look ahead to next summer’s potential free agents
- Calgary Wranglers sign Brett Sutter, Daniil Chechelev, three others to AHL contracts