Flames a hot mess, Matthew Tkachuk trade expected soon

matthew tkachuk
Apr 2, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) controls the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

This may go down as one of the worst off-seasons in Calgary Flames history if Matthew Tkachuk is indeed traded this week.

Sportsnet’s Eric Francis appeared on ESPN Radio in St. Louis and speculated that Tkachuk has likely informed the Flames he has no desire to sign long-term. That sparked the team to file for club-elected salary arbitration on Monday to avoid an offer sheet and thus lose him for possibly four first-round picks.

“At the end of the day, the Calgary Flames wanted to buy more time to do the inevitable,” Francis explained. “Which is try to get some significant assets for Matthew Tkachuk and say goodbye to him. I believe this will be wrapped up within the week.”

NHL Rumors: Matthew Tkachuk

NHL Rumors Matthew Tkachuk
May 5, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) during the warmup period against the Winnipeg Jets at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames GM, Brad Treliving can’t be enjoying his summer. After telling fans that he would move “heaven and earth” to keep Johnny Gaudreau, only to see sign for less with the Columbus Blue Jackets, he could be losing Matthew Tkachuk next.

Someone please get Brad some antacids because he has to be sick to his stomach.

Leading up to Gaudreau leaving, speculation was already stirring with regards to Tkachuk.

“There are teams that are waiting to pounce on Matthew Tkachuk potentially if they think Johnny Gaudreau’s leaving,” Pierre LeBrun said on TSN. “That would impact Tkachuck in maybe not wanting to sign long-term in Calgary.”

Tkachuck, 24, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights that just completed a three-year deal worth $7 million per season. The Flames extended the $9 million qualifying in order to retain negotiation rights but obviously realized they needed to file for salary arbitration with the threat of an offer sheet looming.

“The Flames have filed for club-elected salary arbitration with Matthew Tkachuk,” the team tweeted. “This provides us the opportunity to continue to work with his representatives towards a contractual resolution while removing the possibility of an offer sheet.”

What a return for Tkachuk could look like?

matthew tkachuk
May 18, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) after scoring a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period in game one of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Tkachuk is an elite young player that registered 42 goals and 104 points in 82 games last season. For his career, the native of Scottsdale, Arizona has 382 points in 431 contests.

While the Flames would love to keep him in Calgary for the next 8 years, they at least will get a great return.

The St. Louis Blues are one of the teams possibly interested in a trade for Tkachuk. Packages being bandied about would include Torey Krug, Jordan Kyrou, a top prospect and a first-round pick. That isn’t an exact offer but it gives you a good idea of what it would take to get a Matthew Tkachuk from the Flames.

As this story grows legs, more teams will surface as potential destinations.