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Report: Jonathan Huberdeau unhappy with how trade to Flames played out

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The NHL was shaken up late on Friday night when the Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers put together what may have been the biggest trade of the salary cap era. The Flames sent forward Matthew Tkachuk and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2025 draft to South Florida in exchange for star winger Jonathan Huberdeau, defenceman MacKenzie Weegar, forward prospect Cole Schwindt, and a conditional first-round pick in 2025.

The hockey world was stunned, but one key member of the transaction was left distraught by the news.

According to reporter David Dwork of WPLG Local 10 News, Huberdeau “isn’t particularly happy with how everything played out.”

Jonathan Huberdeau was reportedly caught off guard by the trade to Calgary. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jonathan Huberdeau was reportedly caught off guard by the trade to Calgary. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It is rare that a sniper and playmaker like Huberdeau is dealt in his prime, and reports indicated the 29-year-old was expecting to get a contract extension offer from the Panthers this summer. Dwork points out that despite some early, informal extension talks between Huberdeau’s camp and the Panthers, an offer never came. “The next call was the trade.”

Florida is in win-now mode and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to land a younger player with some grit to his game like Tkachuk.

Huberdeau now must face the pressures of playing in a hockey-mad market in his native country, though he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. The Flames will have the rest of the summer and the upcoming season to persuade Huberdeau to sign a long-term contract extension.

Also, from a financial standpoint, Huberdeau will see a much more significant portion of his income taxed in Calgary than he would have in Florida, the only NHL franchise he has ever played with since he was drafted third overall by the Panthers in 2011.

This blockbuster trade changes the foundation of both teams, and fans with high expectations for the coming year will hope Huberdeau’s attitude also changes before puck-drop in October.

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