This. They had to change the optics and make sure Calgary is seen as a place players want to play, rather than a place they want to leave.
Not a great contract due to term, but a necessary one for them at this time. Let's face it, Huberdeau was probably getting that deal somewhere.
I don't think it is guaranteed he gets anywhere close to this from somewhere else.
I think that is one of the reasons he signed the deal in Calgary.
Huberdeau will be 30 years old and is a winger. He is going to an entirely new team and system. If he just has a very good season and not a top 5 scoring season, he's getting 6-8 million per for 4-7 seasons, and he may not have teams lining up for him. The cap is still tight, and teams are dumping more and more cap into players coming off of their ELC, which is choking out the big UFAs. Let's see what Kadri ends up getting after a 100 point pace season where he was an integral part on the cup winning team.
Calgary gave Huberdeau an offer he couldn't refuse. This is 84 million and it takes him to his late 30s, so that 8th year is going to factor in here because there is no guarantee that if he goes 7 years with someone else, he is still an active player or good enough to get a 1 year 10.5M contract. He would have to either get 7 x 12 million on the open market, or get less but get it from a team with a great tax situation. Which there aren't many teams like that who have 10+ million open in cap.
I would say there is next to no chance he gets this offer from someone else in the off season. Which isn't to say it was a bad move by Calgary. They just lost Gaudreau and Tkachuk, unless they are going to rebuild, losing a third straight superstar would be awful from an optics POV. Hockey is a business after all, and they have to win games and sell season tickets.