It all started when Sportsnet analyst and former NHLer Shane O’Brien reported that Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk “might want out of Calgary” this offseason. O’Brien made the remark during the Powerplay Podcast with Steve Kouleas in a larger discussion about the Flames and their future, prompting many to wonder if in fact Tkachuk could be moved this offseason. The chatter even got to what is reported to be the St. Louis Blues, who could provide the forward with the perfect trade scenario to play in his hometown.
But wait a minute!
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Flames issued firm denials regarding a recent rumour claiming Tkachuk wanted out of Calgary. On top of that, the insider believes the Flames wouldn’t deny the rumours if they were true:
“This is what I can tell you about the rumours that Matthew Tkachuk wants out of Calgary: When the news about Seth Jones got around, no one was thrilled it had leaked, but no one denied it. Same for Oliver Ekman-Larsson being available and Dougie Hamilton free to talk to other teams. With Tkachuk, there’ve been firm denials. I do believe the Flames refused to include him in any Pierre-Luc Dubois trade talks last season.”
There is no doubt that the Flames would have to carefully consider this one. Tkachuk is a 23 year old power forward who already has a 30+ goal and 70+ point season under his belt. He oozes confidence and leadership. In short: he’s been everything the Flames could have asked for. There’s just one problem… his contract is up. He is entering the final season of a three-year deal he signed with the Flames that carries an annual average value (AAV) of $7-million. Tarasenko has two years left on his current contract which pays him $7.5-million per season. He also has a no-trade clause worked into his deal. Both Calgary and St. Louis are projected to have more than $14 million in cap space for 2021-22, per Cap Friendly.
There has been chatter that the Flames are looking for a chance to be true contenders in the coming season, however, moving Tkachuk doesn’t sound like one of them.