In what has so far shaped up to be a nightmarish offseason for the Calgary Flames, there could be another high-profile departure yet to come. Matthew Tkachuk, the team’s remaining superstar winger, is headed for an arbitration battle with the Flames, as we found out yesterday. They may not even reach that point, though. Eric Francis of Sportsnet believes that the Flames and Tkachuk are “parting ways,” and that the club elected to pursue arbitration in order to “buy more time” to find an appropriate exit plan. Francis added on that he thinks the situation “will be wrapped up within the week,” and if he’s right the deal would cement this July as one of the most transformative months in Flames history.
The decision to potentially trade Tkachuk comes thanks to the reality of his contract situation. Tkachuk is in a position to hit unrestricted free agency next summer and looks poised to do so. The Flames have had every opportunity to extend Tkachuk on a long-term extension, and yet have failed to secure his signature on a deal to this point, indicating that Tkachuk’s heart may not be in Calgary long-term, just like Gaudreau. As a result, the Flames might be motivated to move Tkachuk now in order to avoid a situation where the team allows 100-point wingers to leave in free agency in two consecutive offseasons. The Flames asking price, should they be open to a Tkachuk trade, is likely to be sky-high, although the lack of cap space league-wide could limit them in their chase to get the largest return package possible.
Now, for some other notes from across the league:
- Conor Geekie scared quite a few Arizona Coyotes fans early in the team’s development camp when he went down with what looked to be a pretty grisly lower-body injury. Thankfully, though, the injury was not serious, and Geekie confirmed as much today to PHNX’s Craig Morgan. Per Morgan, Geekie “did not elaborate” on the nature of his injury or any timeline for a return to the ice, but he did note that he was still doing cardio and working out his upper body. With his entry-level deal already signed, Geekie has the chance to make the Coyotes’ opening-night roster, so he’ll want to ensure that this upper-body injury is fully recovered by this fall so he can hit the ground running at training camp.
- There has been some nervousness from people across the NHL regarding Russian players and whether they’ll be able to easily return to North America from offseasons spent in Russia for training camps this fall. For the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks, they won’t need to worry much longer about two of their players. CHEK’s Rick Dhaliwal has learned from agent Dan Milstein that the Canucks’ big offseason signing, Ilya Mikheyev, has arrived in North America in order to begin his preparations for the upcoming season. The New York Post’s Mollie Walker has also learned from Milstein that winger Vitali Kravtsov has arrived in New York City in advance of training camp.
Pretty damning that no one wants to play for the Flames. Gotta wonder what might be going on behind the scenes.
I don’t think I’d jump to that conclusion. Gaudreau wanted to play closer to home and everyone knows that Tkachuk wants to play for the Blues.
Question is: Why would the Blues pay a high price to trade for Tkachuk now when they can sign him as a UFA next season? And every other team in the league knows they’d only have MT’s services for one year if they traded for him.
Flames in a rough spot here.
You have to realize Eric Francis is a buffoon, that makes stuff up when in doubt. Any story he writes needs to be taken with a grain of salt
I think you should just think about how many American born players over the years do not want to play in Canada.
When a lot of them have the opportunity they will leave and sign in the USA.
I’ve said for the last 10 yrs that if a Canadian team drafts an American they should really monitor the contract negotiations and trade the players before UFA and they leave for nothing.
There are American born players (e.g. Blake Coleman) who have signed with Canadian based teams, so if the money and term is right, you never know.
It’s the players as they decide in the end where to go long term. If Tkachuk doesn’t want to sign long term then the Flames have to trade him this off-season. They should focus on getting back more draft picks than prospects. Also getting back a veteran or 2 that is still productive would be smart to have more trade chips at the deadline.
For example, a Vladimir Tarasenko?
Other teams that are contenders may trade for him as a 1 year rental.
Only St Louis wouldn’t because if they are gonna sign him as a UFA next summer, why give up anything for him now. I could see maybe the Hurricanes or Tampa renting him for a year.
@DarkSide830 – Some have hinted at that bench boss guy. A successful coach, sure, but he is said to wear on players. I wonder if we’ll ever see Johnny come out and give us the straight scoop, one way or another, so that we can go on to hypothesize why Walt Jr. #1 may also want out. Eric Francis believes that he may very well get dealt before opening day. I guess we shall see…
Hello Mac, check out these trade proposals from Top Shelf Hockey, time to crank up fan here.
link to youtube.com
@G – Thanks for the link! Sounds like you reside on the same hot planet as I do – Mercury! :)
(I don’t know if you feel the same, but the Hockey Canada scandal turns my stomach a bit.)
Would it still be the coach in Calgary..I would say great year last year but Donkey for a coach it hurts your chances…
I think alot of American players want to leave socialist Canada, Plus there money goes further here, And a lot of them don’t like the way Trudeau handled the Covid-19 pandemic. Believe It or not It’s true.
Me, I think you need your dosage increased.
Could you please explain your definition of “socialist”. Thanks.
Why the hell would the players care?
and I don’t believe it. but most of what you say is garbage. that I do believe
While I generally agree with that, as I pointed out above, American born players will sign with a Canadian based team if it’s the best deal on the table for them. Star players like Gaudreau and Tkachuk have more leverage than others do.
Wilf just summoned some commie dirtbags with the word socialist. Bet they’re gonna bully him outta here soon. Brace yourself!
Freedom loving ‘Merican patriots know Medicare is for people 65 and over.
ANYONE who thinks a 63 year old should get Medicare is clearly a commie dirtbag!!!
…don’t try to make it make sense. Just yell LOUDER!!!!
Only socialists think seniors should have hearing aids!!! They MUST be stopped!!!!
I didnt call you out you read my comment and recognized yourself in it. Just proved my point. Keep sticking ya neck out for red dirt and wonder why ppl call you commie
He’s not wondering why “people” are calling him ‘commie.’ He’s wondering why a$$holes are doing so.
Because a$$holes call things by their names i guess. unlike red ass monke
People always hate what they don’t understand. Lol.
Does that include the concept of irony?
This explains your fear of socialism it would seem.
Tkachuk for Marner. Done deal if Matty agrees to at least a 4-year deal.
Can’t wait to see him wearing the Bluenote and playing alongside his best friend, Robert Thomas, who just signed an 8 year extension.
This seems very real
Treliving has been doing a terrible job lately.
Hope is lovely, but betting the future of your franchise on it is insane. He should have made a take it or leave it offer for Gaudreau a long time ago and been ready to move on if he left. Fiala changed hands. DeBrincat. Pacioretty was literally free.
Can’t repeat the same mistake with Tkachuk.
it always makes me sad when a good core group is falling apart. Let’s be fair: that first line was way better than just the sum of those 3 single players. Was always good to watch.
“I think alot of American players want to leave socialist Canada”
Really? Too bad ignorance isn’t painful!