It didn’t take long for fans to question Jonathan Huberdeau’s desire to stay in Calgary following the blockbuster trade that sent him to the Flames in return for Matthew Tkachuk, shipped out to the Florida Panthers. He answered all of them late on Thursday night, signing an eight-year, $84-million contract extension, the biggest in Flames history.
On Friday, he answered more questions about his future as a new leader in Calgary, and couldn’t help himself, taking a shot at his former team.
“They traded for me and they wanted me, and they were talking highly about me. You know, when you hear that, you want to play for a team that wants you and that’s why it was so important to me (to sign long term).”
When the trade was first announced, it was reported that Huberdeau wasn’t “particularly happy with how everything played out.” The forward thought he would get an extension from Florida. Despite some early, informal extension talks between Huberdeau’s camp and the Panthers, an offer never came.
The trade came next and we get why Huberdeau mentions how he wants to be wanted. Clearly, he is hinting at the Panthers who shipped him out and did not make him an offer as he expected.
Huberdeau is now focused on the Flames, understands that he is heading into a situation where he may well become the face of the franchise and is ready to take on the challenge in Calgary.
“I want to be a leader,” Huberdeau said. “I’m at an age where I can do that and that’s what I want to do.”
Can’t wait to see Huberdeau in his new role with the Flames.