Image by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images
Look, before I begin, I understand why people like to throw our young guys into these talks. To all those up north who feel that south Florida doesn’t deserve a team, and that it should be in Quebec, or that it should be sold/moved because of revenue sharing: Go fly a kite. Seriously.
Anyways, I was in attendance the night our sexy left winger debuted. It was after the lockout on a January night where the masses tumbled into the generic BB&T, eager to get their fix of skates, blades, and goal scoring. I even got into a fight with another fan that night. Huberdeau scored a goal on his first ever NHL shot, set up by his hero and NHL legend Alexei Kovalev. It was magic.
Image by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images
So now we’re here. Seven years later and TSN “insiders” are throwing around our boy’s name like if he was some two-bit floozy on prom night. It enraged parts of me I didn’t know existed. It felt like someone was hurting a family member, like a little brother was being taken away from me. That’s when I came up with this: The Top 5 Reasons Why I Hate Huberdeau Trade Talk.
Now that you understand where this bias and one-sided opinion story comes from, I’ll jump right into it and begin with number 5:
5. It makes no sense
So, you’re telling me that the Panthers are going to send away one of their best and brightest, cashing in all of their future hopes, just to make a short term push for the playoffs this year? Trading away Bjugstad is one thing but shipping off one of your best assets on a good contract is borderline criminal. With Bjuggy fans saw he was a bust after a few seasons. I personally thought he was going to make an incredible leap when he started using his big frame to screen the net more often. If I was Dale, I would’ve drafted him, too. 6’6” with his skill set? No-brainer.
But Huberdeau is different. He’s been a consistent plug on the first line with incredible upside even with seven years in. People are speculating that he’s be trade bait for some locker room issues out in Columbus? If we did get Panarin and Bobrovsky via trade in a package that included Huberdeau, how much better would we really be? Yes, the goaltending would improve exponentially, but at what cost? Which leads me to makes next point:
When 68-16-11 suited up together a few years ago, I saw something that I hadn’t seen since the days of the “Sunrise Express” line. The flow of play was magical. The locker room was in a good place. The young guns became leaders. Huberdeau has always expressed how much he enjoys playing in Florida and how close his relationships are with others on the team, so why take that away? A big part to advancing past that first round will rely on how well these guys mesh together.
Image via http://hockeylemagazine.com
It makes me wonder sometimes when people throw these speculations out into the world whether they took the time to think if a team is willing to restart that process again with a new player.
3. This goal
2. Other team’s fans
Really? You think you can score our guy? I don’t care what insider A says or analyst B predicts, get this straight “Tom” from Halifax and “Pierre” from Pittsburgh: He’s not going anywhere. I’m sure he’d look great in blue, yellow, or whatever other color your team totes (it’s true, he looks fantastic in anything), but he looks best scoring in red. Panther RED.
Take your bad vibes somewhere else. This guy is here and he’s got (or will after this post) a Hialeah Chango spell on his whereabouts and those “Santeria” curses are hard to break. Just bring bananas to the game, everyone, and we’ll be OK.
1. George Richards
This guy. Once Florida’s go-to media guy on Cats talk turned Columbus Blue Jackets reporter and NOW back covering the Panthers. Best part about it is he’s writing for The Athletic. Every time I click on a link to an article I’m asked to pay for a subscription. No, George. I’m not paying that subscription. Don’t believe me? Here is George’s post on the trade deadline:
Clicking on this almost made my computer crash. Worst of all, I cant read it! but there’s 10 guys on that list and I guarantee you that Hubby is on that list. Mr. Richards, you have all of us scared here south of Port St. Lucie.
I’d like to close with one thought to Panthers readers. Do you want to see him go? Dale has a lot on his plate and the “blueprint” has taken quite a while to do next to nothing. These guys need support, but blowing a main pillar of this build for short term gains will prove disastrous. I mean, how’s Goldie going to feel when he can’t call “Hubby-Dooby-Doo” after a goal? Think about it. Think about Goldie.