Coach Ryan Huska sat him for performance reasons. “He didn’t do well, everyone has a stupid match sometimes. We needed to kick the team up, we lacked pace. In short, we gave space to other players,” he explained his decision.
Television cameras captured the angry hockey player several times in the third period. “He was very depressed. It was heartbreaking to watch,” Sportsnet commentator Kelly Hrudey said.
November 8, 2023 at 6:33 am, post archived: November 9, 2023 at 1:09 pm
The 30-year-old striker seemed extremely depressed. Head down, blank stare, obvious frustration. It’s like he doesn’t even want to admit that something like this is even happening.
“It’s humiliating, nobody wants to just sit on the switchboard and look around. We talked about it with the coach, I don’t blame anyone. I have to look in the mirror and be a better player. I know it’s in me,” he told reporters a day later.
Calgary management also expects much more from Huberdeau. So far, last year’s signing of an eight-year, $84 million contract seems like an extraordinary fling that will haunt the Flames for a long time.
In their defense, no one expected such a slide. After all, the Canadian forward arrived as one of the NHL’s biggest stars. He arrived after the season of his life, in which he collected an amazing 115 points (30+85).
He entertained the audience with great passes, he stood out on the ice with admirable calmness and insight. He finished third in the productivity table behind McDavid (123) and Johnny Gaudreau (115).
His departure caused embarrassment. when Florida acquired the four-year-younger Matthew Tkachuk for him, a lot of pundits were tapping their foreheads. They didn’t understand how general manager Bill Zito could give up such an exceptional player.
Calgary Flames forward Jonathan Huberdeau shares his thoughts on getting benched for the third period last night against the Nashville Predators. https://t.co/8PRQxq7fE3
November 9, 2023 at 1:46 a.m. Post Archived: November 9, 2023 at 1:11 p.m.
Only time showed that he did well. Tkachuk caught on immediately, increased his performance in the playoffs and led his teammates to the finals. On the contrary, Huberdeau began to gradually disappear from the ice.
In the last season, he saw a terrible drop in productivity. From 115 points, it deteriorated to 55! He fell into the middle, under the leadership of Darryl Sutter, the whole team did not do well.
There was a nervous and tense atmosphere in the cabin, the forceful coach was not popular with the players. According to reports from overseas, some of them were supposed to knock on the door of the management members’ offices and say: “We don’t want to play under him anymore!”
Canadian forward Jonathan Huberdeau in action against Dallas.
A change in the rotation and the arrival of new general manager Craig Conroy were expected to clear the air, bring improvement and put Calgary back in contention for the playoffs.
Nine points from twelve games does not indicate this yet. The Flames are struggling, trailing only Chicago, Edmonton and San Jose in the Western Conference.
Huberdeau also bears his share of the blame, continuing his current misery. So far he has collected six points, in the +/- table he is the fourth worst across the entire competition.
Moving from sunny Florida, where you can go to games in flip-flops most of the year and people hardly notice you on the street, to Canada, which lives on hockey, obviously does not suit him.
“Everything about his game is wrong. He used to be a great playmaker, but now he overthinks everything. He wants to be perfect, which slows him down,” noted TSN analyst Craig Button.
He does not condemn the Canadian striker, his teammates share the same attitude. “It is only a temporary matter, I have no doubt about it! He is a great player, he works hard every day,” forward Dillon Dubé said.
And coach Huska added: “You can’t do well all the time, sometimes you just have to go through more difficult periods. Huby is cool, we’re all behind him. I’m not worried about him.’
As you can see, Huberdeau has support. Everyone believes that he will return to the old form that delighted the fans in Florida. All that matters now is him.