Calgary Flames deal Matthew Tkachuk to Florida Panthers

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CALGARY — The Calgary Flames bid a bitter farewell to Johnny Gaudreau at the start of NHL free agency.

Now they're parting ways with his linemate.

The Florida Panthers announced Friday night they've acquired forward Matthew Tkachuk and a conditional fourth-round pick from Calgary. The Flames receive forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Cole Schwindt, defenceman McKenzie Weegar and the Panthers' lottery-protected 2025 first-round selection.

Florida also said Tkachuk has agreed to terms on an eight-year deal. According to numerous reports, the contract is for US$76 million.

Tkachuk reportedly informed the Flames after Gaudreau signed a seven-year, US$68.25-million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets when the market opened that he also wouldn't be staying in Calgary long-term.

The club filed for salary arbitration with Tkachuk, a restricted free agent, in order to eliminate the possibility of an offer sheet — which the Flames said was part of the process to come to terms on an extension.

Tkachuk's hearing had been set for Aug. 11, the last day of proceedings.

And while fans will be upset to lose two-thirds of Calgary's top line in short order, the team got something for 24-year-old after losing Gaudreau, 28, for nothing.

The pair combined to score 82 goals and 219 points on the flanks of the Flames' top line with Elias Lindholm.

Tkachuk set career-highs for goals (40), assists (62) and points.

The Arizona-born, St. Louis-raised forward registered 152 goals and 382 points in 431 regular-season games with Calgary. Selected sixth overall at the 2016 NHL draft, Tkachuk added seven goals and eight assists in 27 post-season appearances.

The Flames finished first in the Pacific Division last season before falling to the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the playoffs — the first post-season Battle of Alberta since 1991.

Calgary's veteran roster, which includes goaltender and Vezina Trophy finalist Jacob Markstrom, will now look to regroup and push ahead minus its two best offensive threats.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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