It was a special Tuesday for Matthew Tkachuk. For the first time since signing up with the Panthers, he played in Calgary against his former team. Tkachuk played his first season with the Flames in 2016-17 and became an immediate fan favorite. Last year, he recorded 104 points – 42 goals and 62 assists – and jaws dropped when rumors emerged that he wanted to leave the Canadian team.
In a blockbuster trade, Matthew Tkachuk signed for the Florida Panthers. In exchange, the Flames received Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt and a conditional first-round pick in 2025.
Matthew Tkachuk has started his hockey life in his new hometown well. He’s scored ten goals and 29 points in 21 games. In the meantime, Jonathan Huberdeau has scored only four and recorded eight assists in 19 games.
As Tkachuk prepared for his first game back in Calgary, he was ready for both cheers and boos. During the game, he was honored with a video tribute for his years in Calgary. The honoring was a nice move from the Flames, and the fans all clapped their hands for the former fan favorite.
But then, they went right back into supporting Calgary. Jonathan Huberdeau scored the 2-0 goal with 9:21 on the clock in the first period, and in the third period, as Huberdeau had just helped Tyler Toffoli score the goal that put Calgary 5-2 up in the game, fans just had to rub some salt in Tkachuk’s wound.
The Flames fans taunted Tkachuk by chanting, ”Huby’s better.” We can just imagine it stung Tkachuk, who wanted to prove himself in front of his former home crowd. Of course, Huberdeau was the better player on Tuesday, but with how well Tkachuk has started the season, the Panthers probably won’t regret the blockbuster trade.