Jonathan Huberdeau signed an eight-year, $84 million contract extension with the Calgary Flames on Thursday. It has an average annual value of $10.5 million and begins with the 2023-24 season.
The 29-year-old left wing was traded from the Florida Panthers on July 22 with defenseman MacKenzie Weegarforward prospect Cole Schwindt and a conditional first-round pick in the 2025 NHL draft for forward Matthew Tkachuk and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2025 draft.
“Emotionally, it’s been a roller coaster for the past few weeks,” Huberdeau said Friday. “Obviously shocked with the trade. I was a little down but I think at the end of the day, you want to look forward in life and that’s what I told myself. It was important to turn the page. Obviously I played in Florida for a lot of years but I was like, ‘You know what? I’ve got to turn the page.'”
Huberdeau could have become an unrestricted free agent after this season, the last of a six-year, $35.4 million contract ($5.9 million AAV) he signed with the Panthers on Sept. 7, 2016.
“I only had one year left, I was like, I want a commitment, I want to turn the page for good and focus on the new team,” he said. “That’s why I wanted to sign. I thought it was a great fit for me, a great city to play in and that’s why I wanted to get it done. I’m excited to be a Flame.”
Huberdeau’s contract is the largest in Flames history, but he said he doesn’t see himself as the face of the team.
“I haven’t really thought about it to be honest,” he said. “I’m not a guy who wants to put pressure on myself. I know what I’m capable of, how I can play. I want to get there, I want to be a leader. Obviously I’m there for a lot of years. I haven’t met the guys yet but just getting in September, I’m going to skate with the guys, get more comfortable. I want to be a leader on and off the ice and to the community, give back a lot. That’s the kind of person I am and that’s what I want to do.”
Huberdeau had an NHL career-high 115 points (30 goals, 85 assists) in 80 games for Florida last season, when he led the NHL in assists and tied then-Calgary forward Johnny Gaudreau for second in the league in scoring. Gaudreau signed a seven-year, $68.25 million contract ($9.75 million AAV) with the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 13.
“We are excited to extend Jonathan’s long term in Calgary,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said Thursday. “He is an elite player, one of the premier forwards in the league who makes players around him better. We look forward to welcoming Jonathan to our community and his contributions to our team’s success.”
Huberdeau helped the Panthers (58-18-6) win the Presidents’ Trophy last season with the best record in the NHL for the first time in their history and had five points (one goal, four assists) in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Florida was swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning in four games in the Eastern Conference Second Round.
Huberdeau said he recently met with Treliving in Montreal and liked the direction the Flames were going in.
“Obviously it was a get-to-know-each-other kind of dinner,” Huberdeau said. “We’d never met before. To make the signature to sign, we wanted to meet in person and make sure what kind of person I was and everything. Obviously that dinner went very well. Got the signature and now I’m in for the next nine years I’m excited and I’m excited to work with Brad.
“I can just tell in his eyes, the way he was talking, he wants to win right now. He wants to build a winning team and wants to go get players. Right now we have a good lineup. Our defense is really good, “We have a great goalie. Look through the lineup, we just have a good team. He’s excited and I think he thought I’d fit well on that team. That made me think, I want to be there. He wants to win for.” a lot of years, not only one year.”
Selected by the Panthers with the No. 3 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Huberdeau has 613 points (198 goals, 415 assists) in 671 regular-season games and 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 26 playoff games.
On Tuesday, the Flames signed forward Andrew Mangiapane to a three-year, $17.4 million contract ($5.8 million AAV) and defenseman Oliver Kylington to a two-year, $5 million contract ($2.5 million AAV). Each was a restricted free agent scheduled for an arbitration hearing, Mangiapane on Aug. 5 and Kylington on Aug. 10.
NHL.com staff writer Tracey Myers contributed to this report