Photo credit: Calgary Hockey Now

Calgary Flames have signed one of the worst contracts in NHL history

Published December 27, 2023 at 9:52
Two seasons ago, the Calgary Flames were impossibly backed into a corner. With Matthew Tkachuk requesting a trade and Johnny Gaudreau departing from the team, the Flames needed some crafty moves from the front office to keep themselves competitive. Instead, they've dug themselves into a massive hole by signing arguably one of the worst contracts in NHL history.

The Flames swung for the fences and traded Matthew Tkachuk for Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar from the Florida Panthers. With Huberdeau coming off a 115 point season and Weegar being a highly sought after top-4 defender, the trade was seen as the best the Flames could've done. Immediately, Calgary signed Huberdeau to a 8-year contract extension worth $10.5M annually. Now, it's looking like a seriously rushed decision.

Huberdeau struggled in his first season in Calgary, seeing his point totals drop from 115 to just 55. It was still a respectable season, but now, things have taken an even worse turn for Huberdeau. This season he only has 15 points in 34 games, is currently on an 11 game pointless streak, and is only on pace for 36 points this year.

It's an almost unprecedented fall-off from a player, coming right after signing one of the biggest contracts in the league. Across the NHL, teams are getting much more valuable point contributions from depth players. Even the Canucks' Tyler Myers currently has the same amount of points as Huberdeau. The Oilers' Sam Gagner in a depth role is providing much more in relation to his contract. The scariest thing about the contract is that he's only in the second year of it, and Huberdeau could decline much further during its term.

Needless to say, the Flames will need to find a way to work their future around this albatross of a contract. The team is starting to see quality young players make contributions, and they'll need to continue to find those value-adds if they want to remain competitive with Huberdeau on the books.
December 27   |   428 answers
Calgary Flames have signed one of the worst contracts in NHL history

Who had the worst contract in NHL history?

Jonathan Huberdeau11426.6 %
Rick DiPietro13431.3 %
David Clarkson296.8 %
Jack Campbell15135.3 %
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