This late-night Calgary Flames news didn’t catch Jonathan Huberdeau by surprise.
It was about 11 p.m. in the east when the Flames announced the biggest signing in franchise history. If Huberdeau was sleeping, it was a deep, satisfied slumber. Unlike the call from the Florida Panthers after the Matthew Tkachuk trade, the 29-year-old winger knew this news was coming. Just a couple of weeks after the shocking deal brought him to the Calgary Flames organization, Huberdeau inked an eight-year, $84-million extension — the richest deal the Flames have ever handed out.
The deal includes a full no-move clause, with a modified trade clause in year’s seven and eight.
It’s the same $10.5 million annual salary they offered Johnny Gaudreau, who turned down the extra money and term to join the Columbus Blue Jackets on the opening day of free agency.
Safe to say Flames GM Brad Treliving’s meet-and-greet dinner with Huberdeau on Monday went well.
Flames excited to sign elite forward
“We are excited to extend Jonathan long term in Calgary,” Treliving said in the media release. “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 wasted little time in rewarding the Calgary Flames for their bold move in acquiring him on an expiring contract without advance knowledge he would be willing to extend. He would have become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the Calgary Flames organization long term,” Huberdeau said in the press release. “I’m excited for this new chapter and I am committed to this team.
“I’ll give everything I have, on and off the ice, and I can’t wait to play in front of the passionate Flames fans.”
Flames fans have plenty to be excited about. Huberdeau tied Gaudreau for second in league scoring last season with 115 points, including 85 assist – the most ever by an NHL left-winger in a single season.
He’s nearly a point-per-game player with 613 points (198 goals and 415 assists) in a franchise record 671 games in 10 seasons with the Panthers. Florida drafted Huberdeau third overall in the 2011 NHL draft.
He wore No. 11 with the Panthers but that belongs to Mikael Backlund, the longest-serving member of the Calgary Flames. Huberdeau recently chose No. 10, which we’ll see the back of many Flames fans’ jerseys come October.