Jonathan Huberdeau does not plan on being part of two blockbuster moves in his lifetime. When the forward was traded from the Florida Panthers to the Calgary Flames, he had the option to skate out the 2022-23 season and signed a huge contract as a free agent. Instead, he ended up the richest contract in franchise history, an eight-year, $84-million contract extension.
Did he ever thought about waiting for an offer from the Montreal Canadiens? The Saint-Jerome, Que., native was brutally honest about that possibility on the 32 Thoughts podcast.
“I know a lot of people were saying that: ‘Play one year [in Calgary] and then play for Montreal,’” Huberdeau said.
“As much as I love Montreal, I dunno. I think it’s a tough city for a French-Canadian. Calgary traded for me. If Montreal wanted to trade for me, they would’ve traded for me. That’s how I see it. And I want to play for a team that wants me. Calgary wanted me, so that’s why I wanted to sign a big extension.”
While Huberdeau was blind-sighted by the trade to Calgary, he appears very happy to play for the Flames, even predicting they could win the Stanley Cup next summer.
“I think we can believe and go get a Stanley Cup right away.”
He would never get away with statements like this in Montreal if he does not come through.