Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press
CALGARY — The day after Jonathan Huberdeau’s eight-year, $84 million pact with Calgary was announced, Huberdeau said he was delighted with this new start on Friday.
“They made a trade to get me and you want to play with the club that really wants your services,” said the left winger. I’m very happy to be a very long-term Flame.”
Last season’s division champions, the Flames were beaten by Edmonton in the second round.
Johnny Gaudreau left and joined the Blue Jackets, then Matthew Tkachuk informed Calgary that he would not be making a long-term commitment.
On July 22, general manager Brad Treliving responded by sending Tkachuk and a fourth-round pick to the Panthers in return for Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt and a first-round pick.
A few days ago, Treliving went to Montreal for dinner with Huberdeau, which the native of Saint-Jérôme really appreciated.
“He didn’t have to,” said the 29-year-old athlete. It could have been a zoom or something, but it’s in person that you can really get to know someone.
“I appreciated that he took the time to do that, especially since Calgary is a good flying distance. The conversation went very well and I feel like the organization cares about me.”
Huberdeau was with the Panthers for 11 years, having been drafted third overall in 2011.
He’s only made the playoffs three times with Florida, including only one breakthrough beyond the first round (this year, a second-round sweep by Tampa Bay).
Huberdeau said his parents will be at the Saddledome for his debut with his new club on Oct. 13 against the Avalanche.
Author of 115 points last season (a personal high), he can’t wait to get back on the ice again.
“The business side is settled,” said Huberdeau. The mentality then becomes, ‘let’s go and win games’.”