Friedman: Jonathan Huberdeau getting back to being the ‘arranger’ he was with the Panthers
Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
The Calgary Flames have needed to accomplish two things over the course of the 2023 off-season. One of them is still unfolding, as they need to figure out the priorities of their top players with one year left on their respective contracts so they can decide to move on or figure out terms for extensions. The other is constructing a team around their players that are signed long-term, which will be beneficial to both their style of play and their mental health.
The player in that category that is the most important to management and the coaching staff especially is Jonathan Huberdeau, obviously due to his steep drop off in point production last season and his massive $10.5 million cap hit (which kicks in this season).
Per a report from Elliotte Friedman in the 32 Thoughts podcast, Huberdeau has started to become more comfortable in his new surroundings in Calgary, and he’s becoming more of an “arranger” like he was with the Florida Panthers.
Huberdeau, in his exit interview, told reporters that he hadn’t lost his skill, and we’ve seen over the course of the off-season that he’s doing everything he can on the ice to resurrect his ability to put pucks in the net or help his teammates put pucks in the net. That includes doing things off the ice as well, which we saw him start to do with the incorporating of youth into the lineup with Jakob Pelletier and Matthew Coronato.
The term “arranger” in this context is talking about Huberdeau checking in on teammates, organizing parties and get-togethers for everyone on the team, being involved with the young players and taking a true leadership role off the ice, according to Friedman.
Huberdeau taking charge of these responsibilities is a huge step forward for his position in the Flames locker room. Pelletier and Coronato both spoke about the kind of impact Huberdeau had on them as they tried to adjust to life in the NHL, even if it was for a short time.
We saw the winger get more comfortable as the season went on, and him taking charge off the ice is the kind of sign that should bring optimism to the Flames faithful. Of course, none of this matters if Huberdeau isn’t able to take all of this positive momentum and translate that to the box score. But as of now, a little optimism for a player the Flames need to get going doesn’t sound like such a bad idea considering the tangible changes we’ve heard about regarding his on ice and off ice routines.
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