Things get worse for Jonathan Huberdeau…

Things get worse for Jonathan Huberdeau…

Can he catch a break?



When forward Jonathan Huberdeau spoke about the 2023-24 season with the Calgary Flames this summer, it was noticeable how he looked and sounded more confident. He stated that he was looking to play up to the numbers on his eight-year, $84 million contract, adamant that the coaching and front office changes got the entire team focused on reaching the postseason.

And then the season got underway… So far in 12 games, Huberdeau has posted two goals and four assists and Calgary sits sixth in the Pacific division with a 4-7-1 record. On Tuesday night, the costly forward was glued at the first right end of the players’ bench for the entire period while the rest of his teammates rallied with three goals to get the 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators…

Huberdeau failed to register a point or a shot on goal and had two giveaways. Sitting on the bench with his head down, you could tell how devastated Huberdeau was.

On Wednesday, Frank Seravalli and Tyler Yaremchuk of Daily Face-Off talked about what this all mean to Huberdeau, and let’s just say it does not look all that good for the deflated player… This is what Seravalli had on his mind:

“Just looking at his body language, you can tell how down he is, how low his confidence is. I feel for everyone involved; Ryan Huska is in his first year as an NHL head coach, I’m sure the last thing he wants to do is staple an $84 million player to the bench, but he’s got an obligation to the rest of his team.

"All of a sudden, you’re looking at this and asking how do we fix this, how do we get out of this? I can’t imagine, long term, putting Huberdeau on the bench or making him a healthy scratch is the solution. I don’t really know what that accomplishes for a player in the first year of an eight-year contract. Obviously it hasn’t fit, and they’ve got to find a solution to pick up the pieces and put this together, because it seems like it’s unravelled.”

So what are the Flames going to do? This is a very tough question because for many, the trade button is getting pushed, but it could be very costly for the Flames and a call too hard to make for new general manager Craig Conroy.

Huberdeau needs to find his groove. He’s the one that accepted the massive contract and needs to prove he can be that player. Because he can!

On Wednesday when he was asked by media about the benching, , Huberdeau admitted it was a difficult situation but took responsibility for his play. He vows to be better.

“It’s humiliating. You don’t want to be sitting on the bench…it wasn’t easy. I’m not going to lie,” Huberdeau said. “Me and Husk talked it out. There’s no pointing fingers. You’ve got to look in the mirror. I’ve got to be a better player. I know I’ve got it in me.

“It was difficult. As a player, you want to be out there and help your team, but at the end of the day, I sat on the bench. It’s 20 minutes of my career. I’ve just got to move on & we got a win…it’s on me to be better.”

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Source: Daily Face-Off, YouTube