Huberdeau eager to start with Flames: 'I'm going to give everything I have'
Huberdeau met with media Friday after signing an eight-year, $84-million extension and quickly affirmed his commitment to his new organization.
"The way my career has gone, I always wanted to play better year after year," Huberdeau said. "So, that's the same attitude I have this year - I want to be better than I was last year, and so on and so on.
"We want to win, and I'm going to give everything I have so we can win the Stanley Cup."
The Flames added Huberdeau, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt, and a conditional 2025 first-round pick last month in exchange for Matthew Tkachuk, who refused to sign a new deal with Calgary.
Huberdeau, whose current deal expires after the 2022-23 season, said shortly after the trade that he'd be open to signing long term in Calgary. The 29-year-old told media Friday that a recent meeting with general manager Brad Treliving in Montreal helped get the wheels in motion for an extension.
"It meant a lot," Huberdeau said. "It could have been a Zoom or something like that. But I think, as a person, that's how you get to know someone better, and I appreciate it, for him to take the time to come and see me from Calgary. It's not a short flight, and we had a great conversation. That made me really think that they really care about me, and they want me to stay there for a lot of years."
He added: "You want to play for a team that wants you. It was important (to make a commitment like this). They traded for me, and they wanted me, and they were talking highly about me. You know, when you hear that, you want to play for a team that wants you, and that's why it was so important to me."
Huberdeau spent 10 seasons in Florida after the Panthers drafted him third overall in 2011. He racked up 613 points in 671 games with the franchise, including a career-best 115 points this past campaign.
With Calgary losing Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau this summer, Huberdeau said he hopes to fulfill a leadership role for the Flames.
"I want to be a leader," Huberdeau said. "I'm at an age where I can do that, and that's what I want to do."