Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk‘s arbitration date on August 11 looms, but we know now that it’s only a matter of time before he suits up for another NHL team. Tkachuk told the Flames this week that he won’t re-sign long-term, either forcing a trade now or letting him walk for nothing as an unrestricted free agent next summer. With teams having spent a lot already during the free agency period, though, does a good Tkachuk trade exist with a team that he’s willing to stay with?
It’s a rarity that a restricted free agent is able to force a change of scenery like this, especially one of Tkachuk’s caliber. Easily one of the top Wingers in the league (and top forwards in general), his unique fiery brand and 100+ point scoring potential is an incredibly valuable package. They finished the 2021-22 campaign with 42 goals, 62 points, and 104 points, all career highs, and received votes for the Hart and Selke Trophies.
He’ll be on his way out of Calgary, though, joining ex-teammate Johnny Gaudreau as marquee players to leave the team this summer. Having grown up in St. Louis, and with his father Keith still working for the team, a potential union between the Blues and Tkachuk has been a long-standing open secret. The Blues have been reported to be in talks with Calgary about Tkachuk, and it was also reported that St. Louis was on the short list of teams Tkachuk would accept a trade to.
While the report was contested and isn’t verified, Vegas, Florida, Nashville, and Dallas were also all teams that Tkachuk would sign a long-term deal with. While the cap situation for most of those teams isn’t favorable, Nashville and Dallas do have some more wiggle room than the rest in terms of tradable assets that would head the other way.
So, PHR Readers — where does Tkachuk end up to begin the 2021-22 season? Does he finally head home to St. Louis, does a dark horse team sweep him up, or is the relationship between him and Calgary somehow salvaged?
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