Two weeks removed from being shipped to Calgary in the deal that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers, Huberdeau quieted those rumours and broke the bank. The winger inked an eight-year, $84-million contract extension, the biggest in Flames history, on Thursday night.
“I don’t know much about (Calgary) but it’s the team that traded for me and you want to play for a team that wants you,” Huberdeau said. “Talking to all the management, they seem really excited and it made up my mind.
“I want to play there. I want to play in Calgary and we got it done. I’m really excited and I’m just excited to get going now. The business side is out of it now is just to go win some games.”
The Saint-Jerome, Que. native added that former Flames, including goaltender Louis Domingue, reached out following the trade to talk about the city. The good words about Calgary paired with a desire for a commitment were enough for Huberdeau to put pen to paper.
The winger, who racked 115 points (30 goals, 85 assists) with the Panthers last season is happy with his brand 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’re gonna have,” he said. 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.”
Huberdeau understands that he is heading into a situation where he may well become the face of the franchise. While he will need 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’m at an age where I can do that and that’s what I want to do.”