Since joining the Calgary Flames in a successful exchange, rumors have surrounded Jonathan Huberdeau’s long-term future with the team.
After two weeks of shipping to Calgary in the deal that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers, Huberdeau silenced those rumors and broke the bank. The winger signed an eight-year $ 84 million contract extension, the largest in Flames’ history, on Thursday night.
“I don’t know much about (Calgary) but it’s the team he traded for me and you want to play for a team that wants you,” Huberdeau said. “Speaking to all the management, they seem really excited and I’ve made up my mind.
“I want to play there. I want to play Calgary and we made it. I’m really excited and I’m just excited to start now. The business side is out now it’s just to win a few games.”
The San Girolamo, Que. native added that the former Flames, including goalkeeper Louis Domingue, contacted after the exchange to talk about the city. The beautiful words about Calgary coupled with the desire for commitment were enough for Huberdeau to put pen to paper.
The winger, who racked up 115 points (30 goals, 85 assists) for the Panthers last season, is happy with his new contract and wants to help the Flames win a Stanley Cup.
“When you start your career, you never know what kind of career you will have,” he said. Obviously I’ve worked hard all my life to deserve it and I’m happy, but it’s just the beginning of something good.
“My goal is, yes, to sign a contract, but I want to win a Stanley Cup. That’s my main goal.”
Huberdeau realizes he is heading into a situation where he could become the face of the franchise. Although he will have to adapt to a new NHL locker room for the first time in his career, he is ready to take the necessary steps.
“I want to be a leader,” Huberdeau said. “I have an age where I can do it and that’s what I want to do.”