Quebecer Jonathan Huberdeau has made no secret that he was surprised to be traded to the Calgary Flames.
That's what he got said in a press conference on Monday, three days after being obtained in the transaction which notably made Matthew Tkachuk pass to the Florida Panthers.
“I really didn't expect it,” said the striker. It happened out of nowhere. It's part of hockey. It's a shock at first, but you have to get used to it. Now I'm excited to be a Flame and can't wait to get started with them.”
Selected with the third overall pick of the 2011 draft, Huderbeau had spent his entire National League career with the Panthers.
“I was there for a very long time. They are the ones who picked me up. It was a big shock for me and my family.”
“It was sad, but life goes on,” Huberdeau also said of when he found out he was traded. It's nice to see that Flames fans are happy. I can't wait to get out there and continue. It's over in Florida and I have to focus on the next destination.”
A new agreement?
In 2022-2023, Huberdeau will compete in the final year of a six-year contract with an annual value of $5.9 million. He could therefore become an unrestricted free agent under the terms of his first campaign in a Flames uniform.
The Saint-Jérôme native, however, said he was open to signing a long contract extension with the Alberta club.
“I'm open to the idea of staying in Calgary for a long time” , indicated the one who amassed 115 points during the last season.
“I will leave that in the hands of the general manager and my agent. They've already started talking about it.”
“They [the Flames] made a trade for my services. […] You want to play for a team that wants you and that's really just what I want.”
In addition, Huderbeau will have to find a new number, since 11 is the possession of forward Mikael Backlund.
“Backlund is a veteran and he deserves to keep his number. I will change mine. I've thought about it a bit, but I haven't made a decision yet.”
“I've always worn 11. So it will be a little difficult to make a change in that area” , also expressed the one who intends to make a decision on this in the coming days.