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Jonathan Huberdeau openly welcomes Darryl Sutter’s departure
Jonathan Huberdeau, in his final season with the Florida Panthers, recorded 115 points (30 goals) in 80 games.

There’s quite a contrast between this production and that of last year, when he played his first campaign in a Flames uniform (55 points in 79 games).

The Quebecer experienced the worst drop in production in NHL history, as it was the first time a guy collected 60 points less than the previous year.

But you know as well as I do that there are factors at work here. New environment, new team, new teammates, new coach…

And it was above all the new coach’s aspect that seemed to bother him. After all, Darryl Sutter is known as an old-school coach, and his style simply didn’t fit in with Huberdeau’s. Players like him need a fresh approach.

Players like him need freedom offensively. It’s through their creativity that they’re able to put points on the board…

And that wasn’t the case last year in Calgary. Huberdeau was sometimes used on the team’s third line in a slightly more defensive role, and he wasn’t able to adapt, which makes sense in the end.

It was for this reason in particular that the player was delighted to see Darryl Sutter leave the Flames this summer. In an interview with RDS, he said he was really excited about the prospect of playing under a new coach, especially since he’ll have more freedom offensively:

We’re all expecting Jonathan Huberdeau to be back with a vengeance next year. It will be particularly intriguing to see how he performs at the start of next season…

Because everyone knows what a talented player the Quebecer is. He has all the tools to have an excellent second campaign in Calgary, we agree, and the situation of Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindhom and Michael Backlund doesn’t seem to bother him.

This is a good thing, as Huberdeau knows he has to concentrate on his own game. He has to control only what he can control.

Remember that the three players eligible for full autonomy next summer could leave the organization after expressing their desire to test the free agent market.

Ryan Huska, who was hired as the Flames’ head coach in mid-June, will be tasked with reviving Jonathan Huberdeau. Not an easy task…

But, on the other hand, it could be, given the Quebecer’s abilities.

One thing is clear, however. If Jonathan Huberdeau doesn’t start playing like a $10.5 million-a-year guy, we’ll have to wonder if he was part of the problem, too, in the end.

In gusto

– Nikita Scherbak heads to France to further his career.

– Kyle Dubas will have to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

– He has the experience to do it.

– I wish him well.

– Quite a person, Roger Federer.

– Big news in the NBA.

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