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The Huberdeau Sales Pitch: Flames Ready to Win

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The dinner went well. Officially. The new face of the Calgary Flames franchise confirmed it with his words on Friday after his actions on Thursday.

Jonathan Huberdeau was confident enough after dining with Flames GM Brad Treliving in Montreal on Monday to sign up for at least eight additional seasons in Calgary.

The Calgary Flames announced the long-term extension late on Thursday night, about 72 hours after Treliving made the trip out east to talk face-to-face with the centrepiece of the return in the Matthew Tkachuk trade with the Florida Panthers.

“Obviously that dinner went really well,” Huberdeau said in a Zoom with media on Friday. “We got along. I’m in for the next nine years and I’m excited. I’m excited to work with Brad.”

It might be one of the quickest NHL marriages in history. Calgary Flames fans got the commitment they wanted so badly after being dumped by both Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk when Huberdeau signed off on an eight-year extension. The new deal is a massive raise from the $6.2 million salary ($5.9M AAV) he’ll earn this season before his $84M pact kicks in next summer.

But it’s not all about the money.

“When you start your career, you never know what kind of career you’re gonna have,” Huberdeau said when asked what it feels like to sign the biggest contract in Calgary Flames history. “Obviously, I worked hard all my life to deserve that and I’m happy, but it’s only the beginning of something good.

“My goal is to, yes, sign a contract, but I want to win a Stanley Cup. That’s my main goal.”

Treliving did a hell of a sales job on that front.

Big week of Flames signings

Huberdeau mentioned the signings the Flames GM made this week — locking up RFAs Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington to bridge deals. The Saint-Jerome product also noted how the organization made him feel during their interactions.

He heard from ownership (Murray Edwards), head coach Darryl Sutter, and then the personal visit from Treliving.

“I could just tell in his eyes, the way he was talking, he wants to win right now,” He wants to build a good team; he wants to go get players. Right now, I think we have a good lineup. Our defence is really good, we have a great goalie.

“He thought I would fit real well on that team and that made me think I want to be there.”

Huberdeau admitted the gesture of Treliving meeting in person, flying in and out in a matter of hours, was another affirmation of his own desire to commit to Calgary.

“It meant a lot. He didn’t have to do that. We could have had a Zoom or something,” Huberdeau said. “But I think, in person, that’s how you get to know someone better. I appreciated for him to take the time to come and see me from Calgary. It’s not a short flight. We had a great conversation, and he flew back right after. That made me think they really care about me, and they want me to stay there for a lot of years.

Turns out there should be nine of them.

Huberdeau isn’t looking too far ahead, though. His desire is to bring that Cup to Calgary sooner than later.

“I know we have a good team right now. That made my decision easier. The age I’m at, I’ve been through a lot and I want to win right now,” he said. “We have a good coach, good players.

“The future is looking bright. But it’s not in two, three years, it’s now we want to win. That’s why I signed here.”

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