The Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers shocked the NHL world when they agreed to a blockbuster trade centered around Matthew Tkachuk and Jonathan Huberdeau. The unprecedented deal, which was the first sign-and-trade in NHL history, saw Tkachuk agree to an eight-year, $76 million deal with the Panthers.

Now, the Flames are hoping to lock down their acquisitions for the long haul, and reports indicate that Huberdeau’s deal is already in the works. According to Flames insider Derek Willis, both Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar expressed interest in signing long-term contracts in Calgary, with the former claiming his agent has already opened up negotiations with Flames GM Brad Treliving.

That’s certainly great news for the Flames. Once Tkachuk informed the team he would not be signing a long-term deal, it became clear a trade was the best solution. While many expected the Flames to command a haul of prospects in exchange for their superstar, they ended up getting the NHL’s reigning assist leader and another 100+ point scorer.

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Effectively, the trade pushed back the impending rebuild in Calgary for another year. With Weegar and Huberdeau set to hit free agency next year, the Flames essentially just delayed their key franchise decisions.

Now that Huberdeau and Weegar have expressed an interest in remaining in Calgary long-term, however, the Flames’ future outlook just became vastly more clear. Re-signing the two veterans will be crucial for the Flames if they hope to avoid a rebuild.

Jonathan Huberdeau is currently making $5.9 million in 2022, but considering his production, he’ll likely earn twice that in his next deal. As for Weegar, the 28-year-old is pocketing $3.25 million in the final year of his contract but is also due for a significant pay raise.

Flames fans were likely crushed by the departure of both of their 100+ point-getters in Tkachuk and Gaudreau this offseason, but the franchise’s outlook is looking far more promising following the news that Huberdeau is keen on extending his stay.