Jonathan Huberdeau said the tweet sent by agent Allan Walsh does not represent his current view of the Calgary Flames.
Huberdeau, who addressed media Friday, said he didn’t know the now-viral tweet was coming.
“I had no idea,” Huberdeau said. “When I woke up this morning I had a lot of notifications on my phone. You guys all know Allan. You guys know him probably a lot more than I do. I woke up this morning and saw that tweet. I talked to him this morning. Gave him a call when I saw that. I don’t want that to happen.
“We’re all frustrated. We can play better, and that’s about it. It doesn’t come from me. Yeah, it’s my agent but it’s from him. It’s his account. He made that tweet. That doesn’t reflect on me or on the guys. We all love each other. We’re a close team. We’re going to grind this out and make the playoffs.”
Walsh’s tweeted “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Also, negativity sucks the joy right out of players” immediately after Calgary’s 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Most interpreted it as a thinly-veiled shot at hard-nosed Flames coach Darryl Sutter.
Sutter shrugged it off Friday.
“That’s not really the players, is it?” he said.
“You’re going to lose a game once in a while. The social media and what anybody says doesn’t affect the locker room. Ever. Ever. When you’ve got a tight group, you keep it tight.”
Huberdeau added he had a good relationship with the bench boss.
“Yeah. Darryl’s Darryl,” the left-winger said. “Sometimes you won’t like what the coach does, and some nights you do like it. You’re never 100 percent happy with the coach, decisions, stuff like that. Darryl and I have a great connection, a great friendship. And he’s good. He wants to win just like us.”
Walsh has been known for eyebrow-raising tweets, including one for former Flames client Michael Frolik in 2018 and a more controversial image relating to Marc-Andre Fleury at the end of his tenure with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2020.
Fleury said “He’s just trying to protect me a bit” at the time.
“It would’ve been one thing if Huberdeau tweeted something, but he hasn’t,” Calgary goaltender Jacob Markstrom said. “I’ve seen different tweets from this guy, not only what he did last night. I’ve seen other tweets coming from that account. The guys don’t really care. Huby’s a great guy and I don’t think he stands behind it either. It’s very irrelevant. I like Huby and Huby likes me and all the other guys like each other.”
Mackenzie Weegar, who joined the Flames alongside Huberdeau in the summer blockbuster that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers, didn’t expect the tweet to permeate the walls of Calgary’s locker room.
“I think it’s a bit irrelevant,” Weegar said. “It’s not coming from a player. It’s coming from an agent. There’s lots of positivity in this room. We’re going through ups and downs this whole season and it’s easy to get frustrated and maybe down, but it’s a tight group in here. We love coming to the rink every day and we’re going to grind through this and we’re going to keep having fun while we’re doing it.”
Calgary has dropped four of five and holds a share of the final wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with the Dallas Stars, who have played one fewer game.
The Flames are also five points back of the Los Angeles Kings for third in the Pacific Division.
“I think we’re having fun,” Huberdeau said. “You guys are not in the room all the time. As a group, we’re mature. We have a lot of veterans. We’re having a lot of fun. But we want to win, too. Right now we’re not in a playoff spot, so I think we want to try more and forget about the social media stuff and do it as a team.”