It’s a day most fans of hockey won’t forget. The season had just ended, and many predicted some weeks of not much action regarding trades. But the Calgary Flames and the Florida Panthers had other plans.
They pulled off a blockbuster trade if we’ve ever seen one, making the NHL buzzing in the middle of the summer, when we usually don’t get a lot of eyebrows raised.
Matthew Tkachuk had, according to reports, declared to the Flames that he had no interest in staying. Next summer, he would’ve become a free agent, so if Flames would want something in return, this summer was the time to cash out.
Matthew Tkachuk ended up in the Panthers organization. In return, the Flames got their hands on Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar–one, a 115-point scorer last season, and the other a first-pairing defenseman.
Off-loading Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau may seem bad on paper, but as they both declared that they wanted to leave, perhaps it wasn’t that bad for the Flames. And they got some pretty good replacements.
Heading into next season, the Flames will put their hopes on Huberdeau and Tyler Toffoli, who joined from the Montreal Canadiens mid-season this winter. Toffoli may not have scored as many points as Tkachuk in earlier seasons, but the Flames hope he will take a big leap this season, and the Flames coach Darryl Sutter doesn’t seem to be too fed up.
Last night, during a press conference, he got a question on how he compares Toffoli to Tkachuk. Sutter just couldn’t resist the urge to throw some serious shade on Tkachuk.
”One guy has one Stanley Cups, been part of long playoff runs,” he said.
Sutter’s referring to the fact that Toffoli won the Cup with LA Kings back in 2014. In the 2020-21 season, he also played 22 games post-season with the Canadiens.
Matty Tkahuck, on the other hand, has only played 27 games in the NHL playoffs during his entire career.
Darryl Sutter seems absolutely ready for a new season!