‘Here’s why we think you’re going to love it’: Treliving dishes on dinner with Huberdeau


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Brad Treliving ordered the baked halibut.

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Jonathan Huberdeau opted for a steak.

An excellent signal.

“I advised him, ‘You’re prepared for some Alberta beef, man,’ ” Treliving stated.

Huberdeau, the brand new cornerstone ahead and face of the franchise for the Calgary Flames, will get his fill of ribeye and tenderloin. Acquired simply two weeks in the past in a blockbuster commerce with the Florida Panthers, the star left-winger is now signed at the Saddledome for the next nine seasons — one which was remaining on his present pact, plus an eight-year extension value a whopping US$84 million.

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“It’s exhausting to get good gamers and it’s exhausting to maintain good gamers, and he’s participant,” Treliving stated after inking Huberdeau — the NHL’s assists chief in 2021-22, with 85 helpers — to the largest contract in membership historical past. “We’re excited to have him locked up.”

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Whereas Huberdeau had instantly expressed that he was open to inking a long-term extension with the Flames, few anticipated it to be performed so quickly.

The 29-year-old hasn’t even been to Calgary because the commerce. Of his 671 profession spins on the NHL degree, solely seven have come on the Saddledome.

Jonathan Huberdeau, back centre, and his summer league team in Montreal, all outfitted in the Flaming C. Huberdeau was traded to Calgary last month and just signed an eight-year, US$84-million contract extension with the Flames.
Jonathan Huberdeau, again centre, and his summer season league workforce in Montreal, all outfitted within the Flaming C. Huberdeau was traded to Calgary final month and simply signed an eight-year, US$84-million contract extension with the Flames. Photograph by Courtesy Allan Walsh

Treliving knew Huberdeau, after a decade in Florida, would initially be shocked, that he would want just a few days and “a little bit area” to wrap his head across the sudden change of surroundings.

After which he supplied to fly to Montreal for a meet-and-greet meal with the ace playmaker. They chowed Monday at Bar George, a swanky spot contained in the historic Mount Stephen Resort. This was not a negotiating session and there was no paperwork on the desk that night, however as Huberdeau put it with a large smile: “Clearly, that dinner went rather well.” He didn’t simply imply he loved his steak.

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“(Treliving) talked so extremely concerning the metropolis, and that made me so excited to play there,” stated Huberdeau, who was sporting a Flames jersey — along with his No. 10 on the again — for a charity ball-hockey recreation Saturday on the Nationwide Financial institution Open tennis event in Montreal. “He's excited and he thought I'd match actual nicely on that workforce and that made me suppose, ‘You understand, I need to be there.’ He needs to win for lots of years, not just one 12 months. I believe we’re dedicated. And that’s what I preferred when Brad was speaking to me.”

It wasn’t way back that some figured a rebuild is perhaps subsequent on the menu in Calgary.

Within the span of only a few days in mid-July, Treliving was left to digest a double dish of unhealthy information. Johnny Gaudreau scooted as an unrestricted free agent, signing in Columbus of all locations, and Matthew Tkachuk delivered another whammy when he knowledgeable that he wasn’t keen to remain long-term.

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The Panthers had been on Tkachuk’s listing of most well-liked employers and had been aggressive in eager to orchestrate the NHL’s first sign-and-trade. Treliving demanded a hefty return — two confirmed commodities in Huberdeau and big-minute blue-liner MacKenzie Weegar, ahead prospect Cole Schwindt and a future first-round decide.

Calgary Flames centre Dillon Dube (29) and Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar (52) battle for a loose puck during the first period at BB&T Center.
Calgary Flames centre Dillon Dube (29) and Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar (52) battle for a unfastened puck through the first interval at BB&T Heart. Photograph by Steve Mitchell /USA TODAY Sports activities file

The swap was celebrated in Calgary. Besides after back-to-back farewells from their former faves, there was some fret about each Huberdeau and Weegar being eligible for unrestricted free company subsequent summer season.

A minimum of considered one of them can be sticking round an extended, very long time. Three days after ‘The Dinner,’ Treliving and Huberdeau’s agent, Allan Walsh, finalized a deal that runs by the tip of the 2030-31 marketing campaign with an annual cap-hit of US$10.5 million.

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“When it occurred, yeah, it was dramatic. You had two gamers, two high gamers, that made these choices,” Treliving stated of the departures of Gaudreau and Tkachuk. “However hear, this hasn’t been a longstanding subject the place gamers don’t need to play in Calgary. We expect it’s an awesome metropolis to stay in. We expect it’s an awesome group to play for. Now we have a extremely good workforce. I believe it's a must to be captivated with your group and metropolis, and I believe it has nice issues to supply.

“So while you sit and discuss to Jonathan. … He has been to Calgary as a customer, however everyone thinks while you go on the street, you get to go to all these locations. For probably the most half, particularly for the gamers, it’s bus, lodge, rink and a restaurant. You could possibly say ‘Oh, you go on a five-game journey, you’ve been to all these locations.’ Effectively, a variety of instances, guys don’t know something apart from the lodge, perhaps a favorite restaurant and the rink there. So that you’re simply attempting to teach him. On the finish of the day, it’s a small world, too, so he’s going to speak to lots of people. We talked about what the town has to supply, how good it's, how nice it's to lift a household, how those that stay right here adore it, right here’s why we expect you’re going to adore it.

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“It’s an awesome metropolis,” continued Treliving, now getting into his ninth season as normal supervisor on the Saddledome. “I’m proud. … Neglect about being with the Flames, I’m glad that in my profession, I bought an opportunity to stay in Calgary as a result of I believe it’s a extremely, actually good place to be. So that you simply discuss by that. You reply questions concerning the group. You define your ideas and the place you’re attempting to go along with issues. You’re speaking a little bit bit about the place he suits in. After which it’s simply two guys speaking. Loads of it, for me, I’m attempting to find out about what makes him tick and the experiences he’s had and what he’s attempting to perform.

“I do know individuals might attempt to painting it as a gross sales pitch. It wasn’t. Whether or not or not it's this enterprise or any enterprise, I consider relationships are so necessary. We’re not in manufacturing. We’re not coping with equipment. We’re coping with individuals. I at all times really feel, you sit throughout from individuals, you inform ’em what you suppose, you’re trustworthy with them, you ask them questions. … The entire level of me going on the market to see him was simply constructing a relationship. That’s all it was.”

Maybe then, the eight-year, US$84-million mega-deal might be thought-about dessert.

After a busy week that included extensions for Huberdeau, his potential linemate Andrew Mangiapane and top-four defenceman Oliver Kylington, Treliving most likely deserves the weekend off.

However we will’t assist however surprise … does Weegar like steak?

“Hopefully he indicators quickly, too,” Huberdeau stated.

wgilbertson@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/WesGilbertson

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