Cheetahs get: Striker Matthew Tkachuk and a conditional selection from the fourth round
Fire gets: Striker Jonathan Huberdeau, Defender MacKenzie Wigar, Striker Cole Schwindt and conditional selection for the first round of 2025
Luszczyszyn’s house: Fabulous.
Fabulous. Fabulous. Fabulous.
This is an absolutely gorgeous movie with two absolute stars going in every direction.
We’ve been told all year that Jonathan Huberdeau was a MVP nominee, but it took several additions to deserve the actual MVP nominee: Matthew Tkachuk.
BREAKING – Matthew Tkachuk has been traded to the Florida Panthers, a source confirmed Tweet embed.
He also signed an eight-year contract extension worth $76 million. pic.twitter.com/MtziQmF7Qo
– TheAthletic 23 July 2022
We can debate all day about which player deserves more, but the fact of the matter is that Tkachuk is younger and has a more complete game – it makes sense that Florida would want him in their future.
At the same time, Huberdoo Plus Mackenzie Wigarh is a bridge too far. I don’t think it’s controversial to say the Tkachuk is the most valuable asset (especially in terms of contract considerations), but adding a legitimate defender from the top pair is pretty fierce. Calgary, to no avail, has done incredibly well here given the conditions. Yes, Huberdeau and Weegar each have a year left before Unfettered Free Agency (UFA) – but together they hold more value than Tkachuk alone. The Tkachuk extension helps, sure, but it’s great. That’s a lot.
He talks about the value of the league’s shares for Tkachuk, Huberdeau and Weegar. But in the end, Florida had a strong star forward for eight years, and Calgary had exceptional players, too. They both do really well depending on how you look at them.
Calgary score: A +
Florida degree: B
Corey Bronman: Huberdeau was one of the best strikers in the NHL last season. He is a player with elite skill, creativity and vision who can play the power game to the best of their ability. He’s a competitive striker whose only real downsides are a lack of top-of-the-line dangerous equipment and a lack of fitness. I don’t think Florida was 100 percent confident in their ability to re-sign the Huberdeau contract, although that was a possible possibility. It was also a disappointment in last season’s playoffs.
Weegar has developed well with Florida after being a mid-round pick. It is a very intelligent imp motor with strong motion and high motor. He’s a legitimate top-tier defender, like Huberdeau, suspended for the UFA in 2023.
Cole Schwindt is a good sized striker with some skill and scoring ability and a solid working rate of the disc as well. His skating is the big limitation with him. He has produced a lot of attacking this season in the AHL considering he hasn’t had time to play the powerhouse. He has a good chance to be a striker in sixth place.
Tkachuk is one of the best young stars in the league. He is a very skilled and creative suite who also has an outstanding work rate. He’s great up front, won many fights and has an edge in his game. His only negative is the lack of real serious NHL pace, but everything else in his game is top-notch. He has a game that does well in the playoffs, too.
That huge part of rating this deal would be Calgary’s ability to extend Hubderdeau, Weegar, or both. If they can, they’re back in action as a top NHL team for several years, adding two outstanding NHL players after losing two to Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau. If they don’t, they go back to where they started. I’m going to assume for this article that they can make accessories for at least one of their newest Canadian stars.
Florida takes care of the pending UFA positions for Huberdeau and Weegar, as they are unlikely to sign both, and could turn that into a young, elite force locked in forward. In doing so, they triggered another selection from the first round (you’ll then see the Panthers on the podium in the first round in 2025 or 2026) but they all obviously have in common with the core of the players and still look like the Stanley Cup contender entering next season.
Today, Calgary has improved its team more than Florida has. In the long run, it’s possible that Florida has improved its club even more while maintaining its relevance as a competitor.
This is one of the most amazing professions of the salary cap era and it will be dissected for years to come. Refers to both clubs for creativity and courage.
Calgary Flames: a-
Florida Panthers: b +
Shayna Goldman: I’m really trying to put my mind to this. I was expecting Tkachuk to be traded, but to St. Louis or Dallas. Even Vegas felt possible because the Golden Knights always buy in, then get rid of players later to clear their cap. But Florida! Welcome!
A mobile elite player in this economy?
Matthew Tkachuk is worth a lot – like $15.1 million per season. This is a very good contract for a player who should make a huge impact in Florida. pic.twitter.com/njc5zhGShM
– Shayna (@hayyyshayy) 23 July 2022
The Panthers saw their “all-in” moves in the deadline and somehow raised them. They’ve brought in the elite wing – one of the best in the league – and are extending it for eight years. The Panthers keep their front group stacked with a player who gives them more value in the short and long term at Tkachuk. So they are clearly pulling out with this win. However, Panthers management has given up a lot here and is running out of assets to tackle the rest of the Florida roster.
The first question I asked was where to leave Huberdeau and his next deal in a year’s time. Well, that leaves him in Calgary!
Flames seem very determined to stay in the deciding picture after losing two of their best attackers. Now, Calgary is adding another elite passerby And the A fine defensive man. The fact that the former isn’t exactly a defensive champion should do well in the Flames system. If they couldn’t extend Huberdeau, that would be quite the gamble when they might have added players with more certainty elsewhere. But since it’s not the only asset here, it makes it more palatable. Instead, it’s Weegar, a first-round pick and probability – that’s definitely a win for the Flames when they didn’t have the same amount of clout after Tkachuk’s time with the team proved to be limited.
Calgary score: a
Florida degree: b +
Shawn Kind: We’ve written thousands of words about Tkachuk’s future here over the past few days. Thousands more who were ready to run on Saturday morning had to be cancelled. In no time—not me, Dom, Hailey Salvian, and Jeremy Rutherford picking a name out of a hat—anyone stringed it together “Maybe Brad Treleving can win this deal.”
However, here we are in the middle of the night. Turns out Treliving can win the trade. Turns out Treliving didn’t win the deal. It is a general rule that whoever gets the best player gets the advantage. Rules are made to be broken. Tkachuk is better than Huberdeau. Tkachuk is better than Weigher. Tkachuk is better than Schwindt. The Tkachuk is definitely better than the conditional pick in the first round.
But Tkachuk is no better than Flames’ full comeback. And honestly, it might not be that close. This does not mean that Florida lost here. Tkachuk immediately signed for less than he could have earned on the open market, for the remainder of his presidency. This certainly does not mean losing Tkachuk. He’s on a better team, in a state with no income taxes. Huberdeau and Weegar’s signature wasn’t unlocked, especially considering Florida’s (former) cover status. Tkachuk was signed, stamped and delivered until he was in his thirties.
And dubbing Calgary does not come without problems. Huberdeau, a producer as is, is not a complete player on a par with Tkachuk. He’s a UFA member after next season, and whether he’ll stay is an open and very compelling question. Same goes for Weegar – but facts are facts. Huberdeau is the first elite line. Jealous is the first man. The risk of losing them is well worth the possibility of signing both, especially for Treliving, who looked, for example, on the cusp of a hot seat. Unreal work. A gamble worth taking. Calgary, one way or another, has to be a playoff team.
Calgary score: A +
Florida degree: b +
Hailey Salvian: Brad Treliving has been put in an unenviable position this week – trying to win a deal with a player like Tkachuk going out the door. But he may have just done so, at least in the short term. Yes, he’ll need to try and keep Huberdeau and Weegar (two from the UFA next summer), but with his hands tied and a little clout with Tkachuk, he went out and brought in a legitimate MVP candidate and a top defense man. Not that anyone has forgotten, but this season the Flames have also lost Johnny Goudreau, who finished second in the league with a draw with… Huberdeau. This is Tkachuk’s deal, but if the Flames were looking for a playmaker, point-producing wingers to fill a gap on the left side, they only got one.
Huberdeau can run the show in Calgary. His defensive effects aren’t great, but Calgary coach Daryl Sutter has helped in that area before, and he should be able to do it again. On the defensive end, Flames’ side, under Sutter, pride themselves on being able to limit the chances in front of him and the difficulty of playing against him. Adding a strong defensive guy in two directions in the Weegar should only help with this identity. Not to mention that boosting the Blue Line should have been a priority this season after a terrible show without Chris Tanev in the second round against Edmonton, but that need fell on the to-do list behind Gawdru and Tkachuk.
This deal should give Calgary at least one more year to try to deal with a core built around Huberdeau, Weegar, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane and Jacob Markstrom, to name a few. And if contract talks, or the season, don’t go well, they might try to flip one (or two) of them on deadline to get more assets in the Tkachuk trading tree. A deceptive part of this to look out for is any secondary moves Flames can make to grab more assets by charging one of the many Left Defenders (Noah Hanifen, Oliver Killington, Nikita Zadorov, Conor Mackie and Jozo Valimaki) in the organization. Contract talks leading to arbitration not going well with Kylington? Maybe they can move it to a higher pick. just an idea.
As for Florida, they got their Long-Term Player of the Year in this deal. Tkachuk would make the Panthers better, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the team were dealing with a similar problem when it came to Huberdeau and/or Weegar’s long-term future in Florida.
It’s early days, but that feels like a win-win for everyone.
Calgary score: a
Florida degree: b +
(Photo by Matthew Tkachuk: Sergey Belsky/USA Today)