According to Elliotte Friedman, a reliable source, and someone who knows a little bit about what’s going on behind the scenes in Calgary mentioned that part of the Flames’ desire to re-sign Elias Lindholm has a lot to do with what happens to Jonathan Huberdeau if they don’t.
After joining the Flames in a big trade that saw Matthew Tkachuk go to the Florida Panthers, Huberdeau came to Calgary and immediately had one of his worst offensive seasons in years. Much of that had to do with the system and the coaching, but some of that might have been his surroundings, getting used to a new team, and other factors that can limit production when arriving somewhere new. But, for Huberdeau, his 2022-23 season — one in which he only produced 15 goals and 55 points in 79 games — it was a shocker. Now, with a contract set to kick in that will see him making $10.5 million, he needs to get closer to the 115-point player he was in his last year with the Panthers.
One of the only ways to help ensure he gets there is by having him play with a solid linemate. As such, Friedman notes that trading or losing Lindholm could have a seriously adverse effect on Huberdeau and that is seriously being taken into account when deciding how much to give Lindholm on his next contract. “If you’re trading Elias Lindholm what is the plan that makes Huberdeau better?” asks Friedman. He added, “The way you have to look at it is, what are the merits of that contract, not only for Lindholm, but fo Huberdeau.” Does this help him get back to who Huberdeau was?
Friedman predicts that the number will fall between $8.5 and $9 million on an eight-year deal, and it might be worth a couple of million just to make sure Huberdeau has a star to play with. Friedman asked what the backup plan is should Lindholm be moved because Huberdeau needs someone to play with.
The Flames Could Be A Wildcard Team This Season
Friedman and Marek identified Calgary as a real wild card team in the Pacific Division this coming season. If Jacob Markstrom has a good year, he can change a lot. If Huberdeau ups his production and other Flames kick in their share of the offense, on paper, the Flames aren’t half bad.
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