NHL Rumour: Teams Already Asking About Jonathan Huberdeau

Jonathan Huberdeau trade

Even today fans are still reeling from one of the biggest NHL trades of recent times. The blockbuster deal saw the Calgary Flames send Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau, Mackenzie Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt and a 2025 first round pick.

However, it seems NHL front offices are more fascinated by a different aspect of the trade. Florida were more than willing to bring in Tkachuk on a sign and trade basis. However, Calgary has not yet indicated that they will look to extend Huberdeau.

Teams Begin to Focus On New Calgary Flames Forward Jonathan Huberdeau

Huberdeau is fresh off a second All-Star season, which saw him finish fifth in Hart Trophy voting and as a result, the winger is thought of very highly throughout the league. Notably, he will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. It was therefore unsuprising when David Pagnotta, who was speaking on Sirius XM NHL Network Radio, revealed multiple teams have already begun to enquire about the Quebec native’s availability.

Of course, just because Calgary have not approached their new star forward and his representatives, does not mean he will not be extended.  In a hugely dramatic off-season, the team has lost the two faces of the franchise. Along with Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau joined the Columbus Blue Jackets in free agency but Huberdeau helps replace the star talent which was lost. This will help the Flames move on next season. They can then replace some of the point production lost as a result of the recent departures.

However, with the player so highly regarded, he also would bring in a significant haul for Calgary. We could see the former Calder Trophy winners flipped during the off-season or traded as a rental at the deadline.

What Does This Mean?

It is easy to see why any team would be interested in Huberdeau. Along with the aforementioned accolades, he put up an astonishing 115 points in 80 games. Whilst he ultimately did not live up to the same standards during the playoffs. However, he would be a difference maker for a team hoping for playoff hockey.

Of course, any team interested would absolutely have to be able to extend him. This is where it gets tricky, as most Stanley Cup contenders are up against the cap and may not be able to facilitate another bumper contract.

With that said, the thrifty New York Islanders have just over $11 million in cap available and are looking to return to being a powerhouse of the Eastern Conference. Huberdeau could give the Isles the extra firepower they need to propel them back into their previous status. However, they are heavily linked to free agent Nazem Kadri and may not be able to tie down both to the contracts they desire.

Another option for Huberdeau could be to join a team coming out of a rebuild and moving towards playoffs contention. If he would be willing to agree, the New Jersey Devils could be a good fit.  The 29-year-old would be able to work alongside one of two dynamic, young centres and help fast-track the Devils project. New Jersey have been reported to have enquired about a number of star wingers to do just this. Unfortunately, they have kept missing out. Could Huberdeau become the missing piece of the puzzle?