It seems like one of the biggest trades in the salary cap era is getting sweeter and sweeter for the Calgary Flames.
On Monday, newly acquired duo Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar both expressed their desire to remain in Calgary long-term, turning what was making out to be a dreadful Flames offseason into something of a renaissance.
Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar sound very interested in staying in Calgary for a while. Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/OfPQq1aT6N
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) July 25, 2022
The pair's words will surely go a long way in reassuring some fans' worries over the players' commitment to stay with the Flames after the former Florida Panthers were blindsided by the trade that saw them shipped to Alberta last week.
The Panthers dealt Huberdeau, Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt and a conditional first-round pick in 2025 for forward Matthew Tkachuk, who had informed the Flames he would not sign a long-term deal. The 24-year-old then inked a massive eight-year, $76-million pact ($9.5 million AAV) to cement his future in Florida.
Huberdeau is coming off a career-best season, scoring 30 goals and registering 85 assists for 115 points in 80 games last season. The 29-year-old finished fifth in voting for the 2021-22 Hart Memorial Trophy and is entering the final year of a six-year, $35.4-million deal ($5.9 million AAV) — one of the biggest bargains in recent memory.
Weegar had a breakout season in 2021-22, emerging as an elite two-way defenceman for the Presidents' Trophy winners. He registered career-highs in goals (eight), assists (36) and points (44), while averaging 23:22 time on ice, also a career-high.
The 28-year-old is in the last year of a three-year, $9.75-million contract ($3.25 million AAV) he signed with the Panthers in 2020.
Brad Treliving and the Flames' front office have shocked the hockey world, managing to inject some hope back into the franchise after things took a bleak turn when superstar Johnny Gaudreau left for Columbus in free agency and Tkachuk asked for a trade in the span of a week.
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