It seemed like things couldn’t get worse for Calgary Flames forward Jonathan Huberdeau, but last night was a night low, and he couldn’t hide how disappointing it was for him.
He had four straight seasons as a point-per-game player before leaving the Florida Panthers ahead of the 2022-23 season.
In his final season in Florida, he set a new point record for a left winger with a 115-point season, and expectations were high as he joined the Calgary Flames.
But last year, Huberdeau only scraped together 55 points in 79 games, but many claimed it was because of management. He didn’t seem to get well along with head coach Darryl Sutter, but when he was let go of duties this summer, things were sure Huberdeau would turn things around.
But that hasn’t been the game. On Tuesday, he played his 11th game this season, but he didn’t even get a second on the ice in the third period. The Flames, however, turned the contest with the Nashville Predators around to win 4-2, but the benching of Huberdeau overshadowed it.
According to Sportsnet stats, it’s the first time since January 2019, in a Panthers loss 5-1 to the Penguins, that Huberdeau was benched in a game. The benching was logical, looking at how he played last night.
Huberdeau didn’t get on the score sheet, and he didn’t even register a shot on goal through 14 minutes on the ice. Huberdeau was clearly upset about getting 0:00, and he looked absolutely devastated while sitting on the bench.
Postgame head coach Ryan Huska explained his decision to bench the big star.
“I thought Huby had an off night,” Huska said. “When we went into the third period, we wanted to try to get a little more flow and we went with the guys we felt were going.
“It’s not anything anybody wants to go through, ever, but at times it’s going to happen. You’re not going to have your A+ game every night.”
With Huberdeau sitting on a $10.5 million salary, the current situation is unsustainable for both the Flames and Huberdeau. Flames can only hope that the superstar winger turn things around quickly, or perhaps a trade is on the horizon.