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Jonathan Huberdeau Continues to Struggle as Panthers Visit Flames



Florida panthers huberdeau
Jonathan Huberdeau, right, celebrates with teammate MacKenzie Weegar after scoring in overtime to lead the Florida Panthers to a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 5, 2022, in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

The Florida Panthers are in Calgary tonight so, naturally, the biggest storyline is not about the matchup between the Flames but the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett.

Although the Panthers’ visit last season was appointment television to see how the Calgary crowd greeted Tkachuk following the blockbuster trade that summer, this one should be a touch more subdued.

That does not mean there is not anticipation as Tkachuk and Bennett return to the city their NHL careers got started in.

Huberdeau, for his part, says this game is no more special than any other — but acknowledged it will be when the Flames visit South Florida later on this season.

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“This game, it’s the same thing, we’re at home so it doesn’t change anything,” Huberdeau said Sunday according to the Calgary Herald.

“Playing against familiar faces but at the end of the day, it’s a normal game. It has more meaning when we play in Florida, that’s more special.”

Calgary won both meetings against the Panthers last season, one in which the Flames failed to make the playoffs and parted ways with coach Darryl Sutter.

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Huberdeau and Weegar both got off to slow starts with their new team — but with eight goals, Weegar has warmed up in this one season.

That cannot be said for Huberdeau.

During the 2021-22 season, Huberdeau set a Florida franchise record with 115 points — and was then traded in July as the cornerstone of the Tkachuk deal.

Last season, Huberdeau seemingly clashed with Sutter and ended up with a disappointing 15 goals and 55 points in 79 games.

This year, things are even worse.

Huberdeau, now in the first season of the eight-year, $84 million deal he signed following the trade, has just four goals and 14 points through 31 games.

That puts him on pace for his worst point-producing season since his disappointing second NHL season in 2013-14 when he ended with 28.

Huberdeau comes into tonight’s game having not scored a goal in 13 straight dating back to Nov. 20 against Seattle.

He has not recorded a single point this month — an eight-game drought.

“It’s not easy, obviously, not getting points and stuff but we’re in a good stretch as a team so that’s kind of all that matters,” Huberdeau said per the Herald. “Obviously, I want to be part of it, but right now it’s just hard.

“At the end of the day (working hard) is all I can do. If it doesn’t go my way, it doesn’t go my way. I’m not getting any breaks, but no excuses and obviously I want to be there for my teammates and stuff. If we’re winning, that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”

As for watching the Tkachuk-led Panthers run through the Eastern Conference playoffs and advance to the Stanley Cup Final, well, it sounds like Huberdeau was not exactly cheering on his former team.

He even used a phrase taken out of context — yet not real popular among Florida fans — following the Panthers Game 3 loss in Tampa in 2022. They would get swept out of the second round the following day.

“At that point I was like ‘who cares?’ “ Huberdeau said per the Herald.

“It obviously would have hurt if they won, but at the same time you feel bad for the guys who are your friends and you’ve played with for a long time and they have the chance to win the Stanley Cup for the first time.

“It wasn’t easy, but at the end of the day if they would have won they would have won.”



  • When: Monday, 9:30 p.m.
  • Where: The Saddledome; Calgary, Alberta
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • This Series — At Calgary: Monday. At Florida: March 9.
  • Last Season: Calgary Won 2-0
  • All-Time Regular Season Series: Calgary leads 24-11-3, 3 ties

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