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 winger was traded from the Florida Panthers on July 22 along with the defenseman MacKenzie Weegarforward 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 the last few weeks,” Huberdeau said Friday. “Obviously shocked with the job. I was a little depressed but I think at the end of the day you want to move forward in life and that’s what I said to myself. It was important to move on. Obviously I played in Florida for a lot of years, but I was like, ‘You know what? I have to move on.'”
Huberdeau could have become an unrestricted free agent after this season, the last of a six-year, $35.4 million ($5.9 million AAV) contract he signed with the Panthers on Sept. 7, 2016.
“I only had a year left, I was like, I want a commitment, I want to move on for good and focus on the new team,” he said. “That’s why I wanted to sign. I thought it was a good fit for me, a great city to play in and that’s why I wanted to do it. I’m thrilled to be a Flame.”
Huberdeau’s contract is the biggest 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 here for a lot of years. I haven’t met the guys yet but just 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 It’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 Calgary forward the time. Johnny Gaudreau for second place in the League in points. Gaudreau signed a seven-year, $68.25 million ($9.75 million AAV) contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 13.
“We’re thrilled to extend Jonathan long-term to Calgary,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said Thursday. “He’s an elite player, one of the best forwards in the league who improves the players around him. We look forward to welcoming Jonathan to our community and his contribution to the success of our team.”
Huberdeau helped the Panthers (58-18-6) win the Presidents’ Trophy last season with the NHL’s best record for the first time in franchise history and had five points (one goal, four assists) in 10 games Stanley Cup playoffs. Florida was swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning in four games in the Eastern Conference second round.
Huberdeau said he recently met Treliving in Montreal and liked the direction the Flames were heading.
“Obviously it was kind of a dinner to get to know each other,” Huberdeau said. “We had never met before. To do the signing to sign, we wanted to meet in person and make sure what kind of person I was and everything. Obviously that dinner went really well. J got the signing and now I’m in for the next nine years. I’m excited and thrilled to be working 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 formation. Our defense is really good , We have a great goalie. Look through the roster, we just have a good team. He’s excited and I think he thought I’d be fine in this team. It made me think, I want to be there. He wants to win for many years, not just one year.”
Selected by the Panthers with the third pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Huberdeau had 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 André Mangiapane to a three-year, $17.4 million contract ($5.8 million AAV) and defender Oliver Kylington to a two-year, $5 million (ARV $2.5 million) contract. Each was a restricted free agent scheduled for an arbitration hearing, Mangiapane on Aug. 5 and Kylington on Aug. 10.
NHL.com editor Tracey Myers contributed to this report