The Calgary Flames didn’t waste time moving Matthew Tkachuk. In a sign-and-trade deal with the Florida Panthers, the Flames first inked Tkachuk to a $76-million deal that will keep him in South Florida for the next eight years.
Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar headline the return, each with one more year remaining on their current contracts. The Flames also get a lottery-protected first-round draft pick next year, along with 2019 third-round pick Cole Schwindt.
Tkachuk had a hearing set for Aug. 11 after the Calgary Flames elected to take him to arbitration. He’d previously informed them he wasn’t interested in signing a long-term deal following a 104-point season. That news followed the departure of the team’s other 100-point winger Johnny Gaudreau in unrestricted free agency.
The massive move for Huberdeau helped numb some of the pain. The 29-year-old finished his career season tied with Gaudreau in scoring with 115 points. He also led the league in assists with 85. Huberdeau finished fifth in Hart Trophy voting — right behind Gaudreau.
Florida was on a list of teams that Tkachuk had reportedly said he was willing to sign an extension with, and Panthers GM Bill Zito pounced. He told Florida Hockey Now he was working on extensions for both players.
That responsibility is now with Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving, who has been criticized heavily on social media in the past month for losing the Gaudreau Gamble and the Tkachuk drama that followed week later.
What happens next will probably determine how impressive a haul this really is for the Flames. Signing Huberdeau and Weegar to an extension would cement this as a win for the Flames given the limited number of teams Tkachuk suggested he would sign with. It’s unlikely teams would have parted with much without that assurance.
Treliving is expected to address the media Saturday.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated when more information becomes available.