MacKenzie Weegar: Flames ‘Better’ than the Panthers
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The Calgary Flames held a charity golf tournament on Wednesday with former Florida Panthers players MacKenzie Weegar and Jonathan Huberdeau meeting the media outside the clubhouse.
Weegar, who was a part of the blockbuster trade which brought Matthew Tkachuk to Sunrise, again said he was excited to join the Flames — but threw a little shade down south.
“There’s a lot of excitement,” Weegar said in a clip shared here on TSN. “Obviously coming from Florida, you know, on a good team and then coming here.
“Now, I would say we’re a better team than Florida is. It’s going to be really exciting.”
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The Flames Celebrity Charity Golf Classic gave some of the newest members of the team a chance to share their experiences since arriving in their new town.
Weegar said that there was a lot of buzz around the Flames in Calgary as general manager Brad Treliving was able to turn what could have been a horrific offseason into one with plenty of promise.
Calgary went into the offseason with stars Johnny Gaudreau a pending free agent and Tkachuk a year away from being able to walk.
Gaudreau turned down more money from the Flames to sign with Columbus before Tkachuk informed the team he would not sign a long-term deal to stay in Calgary.
Treliving ended up getting Huberdeau, Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt and a first-round pick from the Panthers for Tkachuk before landing Kadri as a free agent.
Huberdeau then signed the richest contract in Flames’ history, an eight-year deal worth $10.5 million annually.
“Lots of people have been coming up to me and saying how excited they are,” said Weegar, who added that he was hopeful a new contract extension of his own could be worked out with the Flames.
“It’s a nice feeling, a nice greeting. They’re really excited for this season and Johnny and I and Naz, a couple new faces here. It’s going to be a good season. I’m excited just as much as they are.”
Huberdeau even went as far as saying the Flames could win the whole enchilada.
“I think we have a great team,” Huberdeau told reporters and shared via a TSN video.
“You look, our D core is just great. We have a big team. We have a great goalie. Two great goalies actually. And the forwards, too. We added Naz, too, and I think we have a great top-six. Even our fourth line, we’re big. We’re a checking team. I’m excited to see what we’re going to do.
“But this year, I think we can believe and go get a Stanley Cup right away.”
According to the Calgary Sun, Huberdeau told reporters that he flew to Calgary last week and was recognized by a fan in the airport.
That wasn’t the only time he has been recognized in his new town — something he says did not happen much in his old one.
“I’m excited. I was in Florida for 10 years,” Huberdeau said. “It wasn’t, obviously, a hockey market. So I don’t know what (playing in Calgary) will be like until I live it in the season. But I’m excited. You go around town and get recognized. In Florida, that wouldn’t really happen.”
Huberdeau, Weegar and the Flames make their only visit to Sunrise of the 2022-23 season on Nov. 19 with the Panthers traveling to Alberta 10 days later.
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What’s he supposed to say, his new team is NOT as good as his old one? He’s trying to fire up his new fan base, get them even more amped, it’s no different than Tkachuck saying he hates Tampa. Weegs wears his emotions on his sleeve, and that has served him well throughout his career. He’s only putting more pressure on himself, which , as we know, he can handle just fine.
Hubie might get to appreciate anonymity a little more after the 1000th time his dinner is interrupted by a fan wanting to get a selfie, or even worse one who starts heckling him about screwing up a play 3 games ago.
As an Oiler fan I can’t believe your GM gave up as much as he did for Tkachuk, a guy who can’t skate and got all of his points because of Gaudreau. Weeger is right, that Flames are better than the Panthers now
Weegs is right.I cant believe Zito gave up so much.We are back to the Panthers of 10 yrs ago.Roster fillers and guys over the hill and no draft picks.This season will be a disaster just to get more grit.