NHL Notebook: Jonathan Huberdeau’s agent calls out Calgary Flames and what Ryan O’Reilly could bring to a playoff team

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
Allen Walsh is never shy to make his voice heard.
The agent for many big-name NHL’ers, Thursday night was another one where Walsh didn’t shy away from making his feelings felt. In his sights: the Calgary Flames.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result,” Walsh tweeted. “Also, negativity sucks the joy right out of players.”
Walsh represents Flames forward Jonathan Huberdeau, who… well… hasn’t has the greatest of years so far with the Flames. He’s appeared in 52 games this season scoring 10 goals and 36 points. His 0.69 points per game this year are a far cry from the 1.44 he produced last year with the Panthers.
Huberdeau, meanwhile, said after practice “it doesn’t come from me,” when asked about Walsh’s tweet.
“I had no idea. I woke up this morning & I had a lot of notifications on my phone. You guys all know Allan, you know? You guys know him probably, maybe a lot more than I do.”
Shortly after being acquired by the Flames, Huberdeau signed an eight-year deal paying him $10.5-million a year.

How much gas is in O’Reilly’s tank?

You could pencil in Ryan O’Reilly as a potential trade deadline target for the Edmonton Oilers at this years trade deadline.
A UFA at seasons end, O’Reilly is playing on a $7.5-million deal this season and has scored 12 goals and 1 points in 40 games this year. He recently missed some time due to injury, but has jumped back into the lineup in recent games.
Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli profiled O’Reilly on Friday and while he didn’t list the Edmonton Oilers as a potential fit, I still think it could make sense. Here’s some of what Seravalli wrote:
O’Reilly has never been considered a burner, but his pace has noticeably slowed this season. If your game hinges on your ability to play hard, force turnovers and get to the net – and you have a hard time getting in quickly enough to force turnovers – that can be problematic. There are few ways to properly quantify the drop-off in skating and speed. But given how hard he plays and with such compete, O’Reilly has always been a player who draws far more penalties than he takes. Last season, O’Reilly drew 25 penalties and only took six minor penalties. This season, he has drawn five and been whistled for five. That relates directly back to him not getting where he needs to go on-time as he has in the past.
Also typically a stout defender in the middle of the ice, O’Reilly has struggled in the defensive zone as well. Is it the lack of pace catching up with him? Perhaps. Is it his linemates? Maybe. He’s spent the majority of his ice time playing with Josh Leivo and Brandon Saad. Neither player is known for their ability to lock down opponents or push the pace. He really seems to miss David Perron.
Is it just that Father Time remains undefeated? That’s what it looks like. He’s played a lot of hard minutes. The all-out style that has made O’Reilly so successful tends to wear players down. With how hard he works, and all of those reps, players like O’Reilly traditionally have a hard time in their 30s. See: Jonathan Toews. When their legs go, the decline can be rapid. Maybe that is what we’re seeing with O’Reilly.
Then again, it’s possible that the situation in St. Louis has contributed to his season. We’ve discussed many times during the Deadline Countdown series the mental side of athletic performance, and the pressure of a contract year and trying to put a struggling Blues team on his shoulders could be wearing on him.
Either way, any acquiring team needs to understand that at this stage of his career, O’Reilly is probably best suited to play with wingers who can skate and transport the puck to clear space for him. That way, he can use his intelligence to find soft spots in the offensive zone and in the defensive zone, he can remain in the play longer knowing that his wingers will be moving up the ice.

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