Jonathan Huberdeau Reveals Honest Thoughts on his Performance Last Season

Published September 15, 2023 at 11:26 PM

Huberdeau's New Home


In a blockbuster deal last summer, the hockey world was set ablaze as the Florida Panthers and the Calgary Flames engaged in a seismic trade. The dynamic duo of Jonathan Huberdeau and the skilled defenseman MacKenzie Weegar found themselves donning Flames' jerseys, while the rugged forward Matthew Tkachuk ventured south to bask in the Florida sunshine. Remarkably, all three players swiftly penned long-term extensions with their respective new teams.

"I just feel like last year I didn't know what I was coming into, it was different for me," he said. "But it's nice to be finally settled, got a house here, I know what to expect. It's fun. It feels way more comfortable and I'm happy to be here."

However, the anticipation surrounding Huberdeau's inaugural season with the Flames gave way to a challenging reality. Over 79 games on the ice, he could only muster 55 points. In a stunning twist, he etched his name into the annals of NHL history by claiming the title of the player with the most significant drop-off in production, a jaw-dropping plummet of 60 points compared to his previous season—a feat not witnessed in nearly two decades. His public clashes with the old-school coach, Darryl Sutter, and frequent demotions down the lineup only added to the mounting frustrations.

A Big Change in Calgary


Nonetheless, a new era is dawning for the Flames, under the leadership of former assistant coach Ryan Huska, who has taken the reins behind the bench. Huberdeau is unwavering in his determination to orchestrate a colossal comeback. The Flames now look to him not just for his scoring prowess but also for his invaluable leadership, particularly among the younger talents on the team.

"I can be a leader and that's one of my strengths", Huberdeau said. "Last year was more tough for me to kind of do it, but this year, I think I'm going to be a leader on and off the ice as well. I want to show that and show my teammates what I can do."

As the Flames gear up for a pivotal season, they face a critical juncture with several players nearing free agency, including Michael Baklund, Elias Lindholm, Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov, and Noah Hanifin. Huberdeau is acutely aware of the pivotal role he must play. He recognizes that to retain these impending free agents in Calgary's fold, the team must unite, excel, and present a compelling case for a bright and promising future.

"Every team has guys who are on one-year contract and they have to decide what they're going to do," he said. "But at the end of the day, I think we're going to be a good team and they're going to see that. Hopefully, we want everyone to stay and we have a good fit and room here. It's going to be exciting but it's not our decision. We're not going to think about that, but we're going to go in and try to have a good start to training camp." 

Huberdeau seems confident and prepared to start the season while taking on a new leadership role for the Calgary Flames. You can watch the full video below:

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September 15   |   21 answers
Jonathan Huberdeau Reveals Honest Thoughts on his Performance Last Season

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