The Tkachuk brothers got to see each other a lot last year. Stuck in the all-Canadian division because of the pandemic, the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators faced each other nine times.
But there’s a new wrinkle as Matthew and his Flames hit the ice against Brady and the Sens on Sunday.
Brady is wearing the captain’s latter on his chest.
“I’m very proud of him. He’s very deserving. He’s the guy who is their engine – I think everybody knows that over there. Whether it’s offense, defensively, hitting, just emotionally, he’s the guy who does everything for them,” Matthew told Flames TV’s Brendan Parker.
“Only being in year four, it’s been really impressive for him to be their leader. It just speaks volumes about the great person he is.”
The entire Tkachuk clan is beaming with pride and Matthew said he expects a visceral reaction to seeing the new letter on Brady’s jersey in person for the first time.
“Even my mom said when she saw it, it was pretty emotional seeing her son as captain. I’m sure the first time I see it I’ll be pretty taken aback by it in person.
“I think it’s pretty obvious he is their captain,” said Tkachuk, who called Brady captain when congratulating him on his new contract at the start of the season but deleted the Instagram post because the Sens did not name a captain until a few weeks later.
“It was just a matter of time.”
Some would suggest the same for Matthew.
Matthew Tkachuk an emotional compass for Calgary Flames
On many nights, the Calgary Flames Tkachuk is the emotional compass. He drives offense, throws the body, chucks words around as weapons and is generally just a giant pain in the ass to play against.
This is the fourth season Tkachuk has worn an A as alternate captain. But it’s the first year the team has had the C vacant during his tenure after losing Mark Giordano to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.
There had been a lot of speculation last year about a fraction of some sort in the Flames locker-room but the group has seemed cohesive and tight-knit this year. Tkachuk himself has been a frequent representative in media availabilities and given thoughtful answers in an extremely professional manner.
You get the feeling the Flames are working their way through a number of contract question marks before naming their next face of the franchise.
Tkachuk himself becomes a restricted free agent this summer, due a $9-million qualifying offer with the ability to choose his next destination as an unrestricted free agent after next season.
If he signs an extension with the team that drafted him, the odds on him being the next Calgary Flames captain certainly climb.