In the late hours of a Friday night, the hockey world saw a major change, as the Calgary Flames got a Matthew Tkachuk deal done in perhaps one of the most unpredictable and wild blockbusters yet.
The Flames shipped Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt and the team’s 2025 lottery-protected first-round selection. Tkachuk subsequently signed an eight-year extension in Florida that carries an AAV of $9.5 million.
Tkachuk is coming off a breakout season that saw him dish 42 goals and 62 assists for 104 points in 82 games. He was an RFA with Calgary, but the two couldn’t agree to terms. After the club elected arbitration, he informed the Flames he would not re-sign. This ultimately led to the trade.
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Huberdeau is also coming off a 100-point season after scoring 30 goals and 82 assists (115 points) in 80 games. He finished fifth in Hart voting as the Panthers clinched the Presidents’ Trophy.
Weegar had a career year as well, putting up eight goals and 36 assists for 44 points while averaging 23:22 minutes per game. He also finished 14th in Norris voting and registed a +/- of plus-40, along with 156 blocks and 179 hits.
Schwindt, a 2019 third-round pick, dished 40 points in 72 AHL games this season with Charlotte and also appeared in three games for Florida.
Calgary ultimately did a strong job securing another 100-point scorer, as they could have lost two after Johnny Gaudreau left for the Columbus Blue Jackets to open free agency.
Meanwhile, the Atlantic Division picture looks a lot differnet, as Tkachuk switches to the Eastern Conference, bringing grit and star power with him. And that also means the Washington Capitals will be seeing a lot more of him in 2022-23.