In the world of professional sports, athletes often face highs and lows in their careers, and for Calgary Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau, the past year has been a challenging one. Despite securing a massive 8-year, $84,000,000 contract extension with the Flames in August 2022, Huberdeau recently opened up about his struggles, revealing the toll it took on him during his final days with his former team.
Huberdeau, known for his skill and scoring skills, joined the Flames with high expectations and a lucrative contract. However, in a recent episode of “Frankly Speaking with Frank Seravalli,” the winger shed light on the difficulties he faced in the final stretch of his tenure with his former team, the Florida Panthers.
In the interview, Seravalli asked Huberdeau about the weight of expectations that came with his big contract and the move to the Calgary Flames.
“No, I mean, there were a lot of things that, you know, came in, was a factor, but, I mean, I just wasn’t, you know, I didn’t have fun last year. So, I think that’s when I first time in my career, I kind of lost the passion a little bit to come to the rink and stuff like that,” he said.
“And the way I was playing on the ice, it wasn’t me, and it kind of frustrated me. And after that, I wasn’t myself in the room, too, with the guys. And I know I can be a funny guy and be good to be around the guys.”
“And I think this year I’m on myself, and I tried just to learn from last year and not to put that away, but just learn from it and come back this year and be me, be a leader in this room. And at my age, I can be a leader and do what I do best.”
A look at Calgary Flames winger’s NHL stats
Jonathan Huberdeau, a Canadian professional ice hockey winger, and alternate captain for the Calgary Flames, was originally selected third overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
He made his NHL debut with the Panthers in 2013 and went on to become a key player for the team during his tenure in Florida before being traded to the Calgary Flames.
In a career spanning 11 NHL seasons, Huberdeau featured in 750 regular-season games, amassing 668 points, and delivered 21 playoff points in 26 postseason appearances.