The Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers are set to meet on Saturday. Normally, this matchup wouldn’t turn many heads. However, this is the first meeting between the sides since their historic Jonathan Huberdeau-Matthew Tkachuk trade in the offseason.
The trade saw Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt, and a first-round pick go to the Flames in exchange for Tkachuk. For Huberdeau and Weegar, the game in Florida is an opportunity to reflect.
Weegar called his time with the Panthers “special,” and credited the Panthers for shaping him as a player. “It’s made me a man. Lots of emotions. I loved it here. We had great memories here. I was just a little kid, a seventh-rounder, and now here I am,” the Flames defenseman said.
Huberdeau joked with reporters that he may cry. He also joked that his chemistry with former teammate Aleksander Barkov may cause problems for his former team. On Saturday, however, it’s all business.
“(Saturday) it’s going to be more emotional – I feel it’s going to get to me a little bit,” the Flames forward said. “After the trade I circled that date, and obviously I want to do well and I want us to win. After that it’s turn the page, and that’s how it’s going to be.”
As for the reception they’ll receive, both joked about being booed. It’s hard to imagine that outcome, however, even after Weegar’s comments prior to the season. Huberdeau hopes for a good reception, all told.
“I gave everything I had here – we’ll see,” the Flames forward said. “That was ten years of my life and career, and it was home for me, so hopefully I get a good ovation.”