NHL Rumors: Matthew Tkachuk wants to leave Flames; as Blues prime for trade offer

matthew tkachuk
May 16, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk (19) celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks in the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t much, but the moment Sportnet’s Shane O’Brien dropped his little bombshell to Steve Kouleas, the hockey world has been buzzing. According to him, he heard that Matthew Tkachuk wants out of Calgary and would like a trade to the St. Louis Blues. The same city his dad, Keith Thachuk retired from.

Matthew Tkachuk was upset with Flames this past season

Matthew Tkachuk only knows how to play the game one way, but apparently some of his teammates weren’t thrilled with his nightly antics. Elliotte Friedman on a 31 Thoughts Podcast got into what happened after the Jake Muzzin puck-flip incident which caused a major scrum.

matthew tkachuk trade rumors
Mar 19, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk (19) and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Justin Holl (3) fight during the second period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

“I think Tkachuk was really frustrated by what happened. That whole puck flipping thing led to a meeting that I think just sent them sideways,” Friedman said. “I think Tkachuk feels that some of the players didn’t want him to create something every game and I think he’s confused by that. I think he understands only how to play the game a certain way and I think he’s questioning it now.“

At the time, I dismissed it as a heat-of-the-moment incident. Apparently, there was more than meets the eye to the story with this news.

Blues ready to make an offer?

Throughout the season, Matthew Tkachuk’s name came up in trade rumors but were almost immediately dismissed. While the Flames are expected to make some big changes this summer, he was listed as an “untouchable” by many experts.

The 23 year-old winger currently earns $7 million per season and will be a RFA with arbitration rights in 2022-23. This season Tkachuk scored 16 goals and 43 points in 56 games. His best season came in 2018-19 where he notched 34 tallies and 77 points in 80 games. The kid is a gamer with a high ceiling, so he will be worth a lot.

After an unceremonious exit from these playoffs, the St. Louis Blues could be primed to make Tkachuk the star of the franchise. What could the Blues put together that moves the needle for the Flames. I don’t think Calgary is looking for a rebuild so draft picks aren’t necessarily a must have. Young players like Vince Dunn and Jordan Kyrou could be the starting point.

The Flames certainly would consider such a package, but may want more. For the Blues to do that, they need to know Tkachuk wants to sign long term in St. Louis. If we are to believe O’Brien’s report, they already have that answer.