10:20 PM: We have some more details on the contract. Here’s the financial structure of the deal, per Friedman.
2023-24: $7MM signing bonus, $3.5MM salary
2024-25: $7MM signing bonus, $3.5MM salary
2025-26: $7MM signing bonus, $3.5MM salary
2026-27: $9.5MM signing bonus, $1MM salary
2027-28: $9.5MM signing bonus, $1MM salary
2028-29: $7MM signing bonus, $3.5MM salary
2029-30: $9.5MM signing bonus, $1MM salary
2030-31: $5MM signing bonus, $5.5MM salary
The deal carries a full no-move clause, and the final two years have a partial no-move clause that allows him to be dealt to 12 teams.
The Flames have also now officially announced the deal.
9:54 PM: Before he’s even played a game for the team, Jonathan Huberdeau has chosen to remain with the Calgary Flames for the next nine seasons. Per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Flames and Huberdeau have agreed on an eight-year, $10.5MM AAV deal, a contract that is the richest in Calgary Flames franchise history.
This is a legitimately massive extension, and it already bodes well for Flames GM Brad Treliving’s bold decision to acquire two at-the-time pending unrestricted free agents (along with a prospect and a pick) for Matthew Tkachuk. Huberdeau is one of the most talented players in the NHL, and he’s perhaps the closest comparable to Johnny Gaudreau that Treliving could have acquired.
A pass-first winger, Huberdeau was a crucial part of a Florida Panthers offensive attack that seemed to score at will in 2021-22. Huberdeau scored 30 goals and 115 points, numbers that would have won Art Ross and potentially Hart trophies just a few years ago, in the days before the dominance of players such as Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews.
Huberdeau is one of the rare wingers in the NHL who can drive a line. When Huberdeau is at his best, he functions as a rising tide that lifts everyone else who shares the ice with him. The Panthers have had many breakout success stories in recent years, such as Carter Verhaeghe, Jonathan Marchessault, and Anthony Duclair, to name a few, and Huberdeau’s presence helped each of those players reach new heights in their careers.
While nobody will mistake Huberdeau for a Selke Trophy contender, the reality is he has put increased effort into polishing his two-way game. Former interim Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette frequently used Huberdeau on the penalty kill, and in Calgary he should be able to help there in a pinch, although they should already have specialists more suited for those minutes.
With his full on-ice value in the picture, getting Huberdeau under contract beyond this season is a major win for the Flames, even at a $10.5MM cost. Huberdeau’s 115-point season earned him that kind of hefty cap number, and the Flames, still reeling after the loss of Gaudreau and Tkachuk, have to be eagerly willing to pay it.
Will this deal look the best in 2028, 2029, or 2030? No, it probably won’t. Huberdeau is 29 and isn’t getting any younger. But the Flames had a strong regular season last year, and clearly want to win a Stanley Cup in the immediate future. This contract will take Huberdeau into his late thirties. With Gaudreau and Tkachuk now gone, they needed to acquire players like Huberdeau. Once they got one, they needed to find a way to hold on to him. Now they have.
In all fairness, there is the possibility that Huberdeau could regress. But on the flip side, he could age like his former teammate, Claude Giroux, who has scored well as he’s aged and recently earned a large, multi-year contract from the Ottawa Senators despite the fact that he’ll turn 35 in January.
Any way you slice it, this is a deal the Flames simply had to make. Some might quibble about the term, the cap hit, et cetera, and that’s fair. This is a lot of money to commit to a player for a long time. But NHL teams don’t have the luxury of getting picky with their 115-point players.
Paying a little bit too much for a little bit too long is simply the nature of shopping at the top of the market in the NHL. The reality is nearly every team would rather pay a star a bit too much than have nobody worth paying. This is a big win for Calgary and extremely welcome news for a Flames fanbase that just a few weeks ago felt completely hopeless.
Picture courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
FLAMES WIN THE TRADE MFSSSS
We’ll see how he does down the line to call it. Paying a 37 year 10.5 could be risky
Not with that term
OMG shiny new toy syndrome.
For both of them
Dudes been in Calgary probably never and now has committed a decade of his life there when he could have been in…California or Columbus with Johnny hockey!!
First off – why do you care where he chooses to live and play the next 9-years? Second, he’s been to Calgary dozens of times. If he’s decided he’s ok with living there then that’s up to him. He’s well aware of realities of his own situation. Besides, he only has to live there half the year.
^ dudes from Calgary
Calgary’s not thaat bad lol. It is kinda awful in the winter though which is when he’ll mostly be there. Idk I’m a BC boy, I’d much prefer Vancouver haha.
Dude is good but that’s crazy money.
There Is no way to know who won the trade Immediately, In fact It may take some years to know the outcome.
I will say this about the Transaction, Treliving had a rough summer and he’s trying to save his job, I also would bet that FLA will win the ultimate prize way before Calgary.
You can’t blame Treliving for Americans wanting to play in the US.
yooo, Teams just throwing money at dudes, WITH term, like never before.. at some point, ALL of these contracts turn albatross, even IF you win a Cup or two if you & can’t move these guys on the backside of their deal (ala Toews/Kane).
overpaying is so vogue now… yikes… ~O_o~
Overpaying is extremely trendy. Long terms are like a side competition between GMs. Look at the D men terms too!
Seth Jones? For real? Nurse? Skinner? Seguin?
The only ones that might make it are Makar, Fox, and possibly McAvoy
Joe Carters walkoff
The Nurse one is a bit of an overpay but hes only just recently turned 27. Honestly i dont see a whole lot wrong with it. Although they probably wish it was 7.5 or 8, he still has room to grow over the next few years. Hes been top 10 or 20 in even strength scoring the last few years
Yeah, problem is that age 27-28 is peak athletic performance. For athletes not named Brad Marchand, guys just don’t improve in their thirties. Nurse is as good as he’s going to be, right now, and the best Edmonton can hope for is that he’s one of those uncommon athletes who keep on playing at a high level well into his thirties.
Wow. That’s guaranteed to look ugly at some point. Likely sooner than later.
He just had his career year! The previous season high was 92 pts.
Give Treviling credit for making lemonade out of the lemons he was given, but this is clearly an overpayment in both dollars and term. Still, they locked in a good player who hopefully can be productive for at least 2/3 of the contract.
Last season is virtually buyout proof. And a 12 team NTC last 2 years will hurt. Good luck to both sides making value out this deal.
Alright: handing him that kind of salary with that kind of term at his age is insane. Making it relatively buyout proof for the entire term is even more so. So stipulated.
But give me an effing break. No, Huberdeau is NOT a flash in the pan; he’s been elite for five seasons now, and far over a point a game for that entire stretch.
And give me an effing break twice. Some of the same folks whinging about this deal were among those whinging that of course Calgary lost the trade big time because of course Huberdeau would walk after this year. Funny, I don’t see apologies for being wrong in the comments, so far.
I seem to recall majority saying Calgary won the trade IF they could extend Huberdeau. Looks like majority now feel they have won the trade.
Isnt duud like 30? Dont players tend to flame out around 35ish? He has to dominate reg and playoffs for at least 6 years for the contract to be good and everyone who has a ‘whatcha doin for that money lately’ mentality (pretty much everyone) gon throw a fit for every year at the end that he doesnt dominate
Happy to see you are not worried about the last couple of years of that contract.
Unsurprised to see that you didn’t read the first paragraph of my post.
Did you read the second paragraph of your post?
No confusions here.
Typed it, too. Of course, it says nothing about whether a guy who’s an elite player now will still be an elite player five years from now. Not that reading comprehension is your strong suit. Honestly, the only difference between you and doghockey is that sometimes you actually make comments concerning hockey, instead of 100% being here to troll other posters.
Five years from now Huberdeau will be in his age 34 season, and you are writing that he will still be “elite”. I wish you luck. A great deal will be whether he will be on a line with someone who can score goals. Maybe, just maybe, your coach can teach him to shoot more (at least four Panther coaches failed) or perhaps have him center your second line. Just be prepared for the times that he has an open shot and passes to someone that Huberdeau thinks has a better chance and you end up with no shot on the opportunity.
Now notice – I have sent you three comments on this subject with ZERO snark. Perhaps you can try to make your points without being so sanctimonious.
So sometimes you rob Peter to pay Paul.
Flames window is the next few years — they’ll be rebuilding when the contract sucks. Worse case they move him to a team trying to get to the floor once the cap stars increasing like it should.
Trade advantage: flames.
The 17 team no trade clause affects that ability to move him to a team looking to reach the floor.
Okay then Calgary’s window closes and they carry his contract to stay at the floor during a rebuild (ie Blackhawks). It’s not a terrible deal like these dramatic people above are making it out to be.
You have to overpay a bit to lock up stars in less desirable markets. This isn’t the penguins dynasty. This isn’t the avalanche. It’s the middle of frickin no where Canada.
Maybe he’s Jagr and he’s a sick as$ old dude. Who knows. Lock up the player and deal with the consequences second
Clearly you have never been to Calgary if you think it’s “middle of nowhere”. Calgary is regularly on the lists of best cities on the planet. Sure it’s not a metropolitan city like NYC or LA with its 1.3M population, but it also offers safety and security unlike many US communities, it has Banff/the rockie mountains next door only a 2 hour drive away, the prairies only 2 hours the opposite way, Montana is a short drive/even shorter flight. Many legends return to Calgary to finish their lives. Theo Fleury still lives there, Lanny MacDonald still lives there, I believe Iginla returned there once done.
It may not be for everyone, but its certainly not a hole like Edmonton, Winnipeg, Columbus, Buffalo or many other “less optimal cities.”
^ Dudes also from Calgary
Calgary definitely wouldn’t be my first choice of Canadian cities to live in, but I agree that it’s better than the cities you listed.
Not from Calgary, but reside there now, yup. Not defending the trade, or Johnny leaving, and not a Flames fan.. The city “homes” many Americans daily being one of the biggest energy sectors in North America. I won’t defend much of the deals, but saying it’s the city is wrong. Many worse cities to live in than Calgary in NA with a NHL team.
Yeah clearly I’ve never been. Not planning on going either. It’s an overpayment pretty obvious based on the other contracts offered in this market. He got more money than the guy that was traded away for him despite being six years older. It’s not Toronto. It’s not Montreal.
If you offered me, a 29 year old bachelor 10.5 million dollars a year to live in Calgary, LA, or NYC – I can tell ya, I’m not picking Calgary.
I’m not saying the place is a sh*thole, but it’s not the most desirable place in the NHL – its probably in the bottom 10. I mean, two superstars just walked away from it right?
Come on Peter Pan.
Oh yeah and back to my main point: Calgary won the trade. This is a great signing for them, but alas an overpayment. Could be great, could be the Tyler Seguin deal.
4.5 years older.
And individuals make decisions on individual merit. Blake Coleman chose Calgary over Dallas last year even tho he was from the Dallas area.
Hyman chose Edmonton over Toronto over 500k (reportedly) even tho he was from the GTA.
All I was disputing was the claim of city of calgary being a nothingburger. While the city itself has flaws like every city, it is not a less desirable place to live than many cities that host NHL clubs. And considering about 50% of players in the NHL are Canadian, it’s just one option to return to home soil while not having to supply friends and family daily tickets and face local scrutiny.
W H Twittle
Calgary has a lot of pluses. It’s unfortunate that you thought it necessary to put down other cities to make your point.
Joe Carters walkoff
Ive been to both Calgary and Edmonton numerous times theyre on par with each other. But Vancouver or Halifax would be my Canadian city destinations
Put down other cities? I have lived in 2 of the ones I mentioned. They certainly have their pluses. But they are greatly outweighed by their negatives.
I liked Huberdeau with the Panthers but he could be frustrating at times trying to pass instead of shooting. Lets see what Tkachuk does on a line with Barkov…
Let’s see what Tkachuk does when a Jake Muzzin flips a puck at him at the buzzer and he wants to fight the entire other team and his teammates just skate off too.
And for being tonight’s saltiest fan you’ve won a gift certificate to Nurs-et.
Whats the point in paying a contract money in signing bonuses?
Two reason, the money is buyout proof. The obligation will be on the team to pay signing bonus regardless. The other is when the money is paid to the player. Signing bonuses are paid in lump sum at the beginning of a season. Not sure if they are subject to escrow though.
They are also NOT included in escrow calculations.
So this is just a deal sweetener for a player?
Wow probably figured that get it done now before maybe a off production season ..Can not see another 100+ point season with players in Cgy now..
meh, he is as good if not better than each of Gaudreau and Tkachuk, problem is Calgary lost both and just gained him. He should approach the 100 point plateau… whether he breaks it is another story. Gaudreau is a borderline top 10 in league, Huberdeau is borderline as well. Tkachuk was approaching it. it’s a toss up rn on winner. Maybe Huberdeau makes the flames more complete? Tkachuk was a more offensive oriented player and we all know Gaudreau wasn’t known for his own zone coverage.
Always loved the kid High praise from Former head coach Turk Gallant…He told me that a few years back..
Good player but thats a lot of term
Nice piece of business
wu tang killa beez
I wonder when NHL teams will stop handling 8 year contracts. It never ends well, seems like 8 years is a standard in the NHL and it makes it so boring
Only when the owners start getting the picture that they’re getting hammered with them and order their GMs to stop offering them. What’s the downside for the GMs? What they care about is keeping their jobs THIS year, not in worrying whether their bad decisions will come home to roost in five.
(Hm. Just counted, and 22 of the 32 NHL GMs have served in their current posts four years or less.)
W H Twittle
Huberdeau like Kane will age well. If he starts to slow down significantly in the sixth year of his contract, the team can start to look around for a trade partner. If Flames hadn’t signed Huberdeau they would have found themselves in rebuild mode at the end of the season. What hurt the team was Gaudreau not advising Treveling earlier of his intention to jump ship regardless what the team was prepared to pay him.
If he slows down 6 years down the road, he has a complete NMC, in 7 years he has a 17 team NTC. And the last season is largely signing bonus making it not a friendly deal for a team just looking to meet the cap. This is a deal meant to keep him unless he requests a trade.
All the negative Nancy’s and people who can’t fathom this contract should read the last two paragraphs. They make a great point that most on here can’t understand
No, the last two paragraphs make a point with which we don’t AGREE. We get that short termist GMs who want to keep their jobs — and who don’t give a damn about what happens a few years down the road — hand out these ludicrous max AAV/max term deals.
But no one here is a NHL GM who wants to keep the yowlers off their backs by Being Seen To Do Something. We’re hockey fans. And a good many of us are smart enough to get that for every Bergeron or Ovechkin who gets a longterm/big money deal and actually justifies it, there are a dozen Lucics, Vlasics, Toewses, Prices, Parises, and OELs who either long outlived their salaries or were never worth that money in the first place.
And those contracts seriously impair teams’ ability to compete. We all know why Minnesota had to unload Kevin Fiala, and that team’s WEAKER for having followed the advice of the last two paragraphs of this article. We all know why Philadelphia had no chance of signing Gaudreau, and it’s because they have over half of the roster locked up in contracts north of $5 MM.
He’s the same age as Johnny we also offered him 8 years and same amount of money … why’s everyone choked
I dont think there is too much of the deal besides that he will make more than Tkachuk deeper into his twilight that makes people question it. Now add this to the trade and it gets questionable.
Well done, Flames. I genuinely think Calgary is better with Huberdeau & Weager. Tkachuk & Johnny Hockey’s Flames’ legacy is an Oilers’ sweep.
Good luck to JH & MW. Great points to conclude the article, Ethan.