Panthers get: Forward Matthew Tkachuk
Flames get: Forward Jonathan Huberdeau, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, ahead Cole Schwindt and a conditional 2025 first-round decide
Dom Luszczyszyn: Wow.
Wow. Wow. Wow.
This is a blockbuster in each sense of the phrase with two absolute superstars going every approach.
All yr we had been informed that Jonathan Huberdeau was an MVP candidate, nevertheless it took a number of additions for him to be price an precise MVP candidate: Matthew Tkachuk.
BREAKING — Matthew Tkachuk has been traded to the Florida Panthers, a supply confirmed to @jprutherford.
He has additionally signed an eight-year contract extension price $76 million. pic.twitter.com/MtziQmF7Qo
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 23, 2022
We can debate all day about which participant is price extra, however the truth of the matter is that Tkachuk is youthful and has a extra full sport — it is smart that Florida would need him for its future.
At the identical time, Huberdeau PLUS Mackenzie Weegar is a bridge too far. I don’t assume it’s controversial to say Tkachuk is the extra worthwhile asset (particularly as contract concerns are involved), however to additionally add a legit top-pair defender is completely wild. Calgary, with no leverage, did extremely effectively right here contemplating the circumstances. Yes, each Huberdeau and Weegar have one yr left earlier than unrestricted free company (UFA) — however collectively they carry extra worth than Tkachuk alone. Tkachuk’s extension helps, for positive, however wow. That is loads.
It speaks to the worth the league shares for all three of Tkachuk, Huberdeau and Weegar. But on the finish of the day, Florida received a celebrity energy ahead for eight years, and Calgary received two distinctive gamers, too. They each did effectively relying on the way you have a look at it.
Calgary grade: A+
Florida grade: B
Corey Pronman: Huberdeau was the most effective forwards within the NHL final season. He’s a participant with elite ability, creativity and imaginative and prescient who can run an influence play with the very best of them. He’s a aggressive ahead whose solely actual downsides are a scarcity of a harmful prime gear and never being overly bodily. I don’t assume Florida was 100% assured they may get Huberdeau re-signed, despite the fact that that was a possible chance. He was additionally fairly disappointing in final season’s playoffs.
Weegar developed very effectively with Florida after being a mid-round decide. He’s a very smart puck-mover with robust mobility and a excessive motor. He’s a legit top-of-the-lineup defenseman who, like Huberdeau, is a pending UFA in 2023.
Cole Schwindt is a good-sized ahead with some ability and scoring capability and a stable work price off the puck too. His skating is the massive limitation with him. He produced loads of offense this season within the AHL contemplating he received no power-play time. He has an honest probability to be a bottom-six ahead.
Tkachuk is among the finest younger stars within the league. He is a particularly expert and inventive winger who additionally has an elite work price. He is nice across the web entrance, wins loads of battles and has an edge in his sport. His solely damaging is a scarcity of true harmful NHL pace, however all the things else about his sport is higher echelon. He has a sport that works very effectively within the playoffs, too.
Such a large a part of grading this deal shall be Calgary’s capability to get both or each of Hubderdeau and Weegar prolonged. If they’ll, they’re again in enterprise as a prime NHL workforce for a number of years, including two high-end NHL gamers after dropping two in Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau. If they don’t, they’re proper again the place they began. I’ll presume for the sake of this text that they’re able to work out extensions for at the least one in all their new two Canadian stars.
Florida takes care of the pending UFA conditions for Huberdeau and Weegar, the place they had been unlikely to signal each, and are capable of flip that right into a locked-in, younger, elite energy ahead. In doing so, they transfer one more first-round decide (you’ll subsequent see the Panthers on the podium within the first spherical in 2025 or 2026) however they’re clearly all in with this core of gamers and nonetheless appear to be a Stanley Cup contender going into subsequent season.
Today, Calgary improved its workforce greater than Florida did. Long-term, Florida doubtless improved its membership extra whereas staying related as a contender.
This is among the most fascinating trades of the wage cap period and shall be dissected for years to come back. Points to each golf equipment for creativity and guts.
Calgary Flames: A-
Florida Panthers: B+
Shayna Goldman: I’m actually making an attempt to wrap my mind round this. I anticipated Tkachuk to be traded, however to St. Louis or Dallas. Even Vegas felt doable as a result of the Golden Knights all the time purchase, then dump gamers off later to clear cap. But Florida! Hello!
An elite participant on the transfer, on this financial system?
Matthew Tkachuk is price loads – like, $15.1 million per season loads. This is an excellent contract for a participant who ought to make a serious influence in Florida. pic.twitter.com/njc5zhGShM
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) July 23, 2022
The Panthers noticed their “all-in” strikes on the deadline and in some way raised it. They herald an elite winger – legitimately the most effective within the league – and lengthen him for eight years. The Panthers maintain their ahead group stacked with a participant who offers them extra worth within the quick and long run in Tkachuk. So they clearly stroll away with that win. Still, Panthers administration gave up a ton right here and is working skinny on property to handle the remainder of Florida’s roster.
The first query I had was the place this left Huberdeau and his subsequent deal in a yr. Well, it leaves him in Calgary!
The Flames apparently are hellbent on staying within the playoff image after dropping two of their finest forwards. Now, Calgary provides one other elite passer and a high-end defenseman. The undeniable fact that the previous isn’t precisely a defensive stalwart ought to be positive within the Flames’ system. If they’ll’t lengthen Huberdeau, this might be fairly the gamble once they in all probability may have added gamers with extra certainty elsewhere. But since he’s not the one asset right here, it makes it much more palatable. Instead, it’s Weegar, a first-round decide and a prospect – that’s completely a win for the Flames once they didn’t have as a lot leverage after it was established that Tkachuk’s time with the workforce can be restricted.
Calgary grade: A
Florida grade: B+
Sean Gentille: We’ve written 1000’s of phrases about Tkachuk’s future right here over the previous couple of days. Thousands extra set to run on Saturday morning needed to be scrapped. At no level — not from me, Dom, Hailey Salvian, Jeremy Rutherford, decide a reputation from a hat — did anybody string collectively “Maybe Brad Treliving can win this trade.”
And but, right here we’re, in the midst of the night time. Turns out Treliving may win the commerce. Turns out Treliving did win the commerce. It’s a rule of thumb that whoever will get the very best participant will get the sting. Rules had been made to be damaged. Tkachuk is best than Huberdeau. Tkachuk is best than Weegar. Tkachuk is best than Schwindt. Tkachuk is actually higher than a conditional first-round decide.
But Tkachuk isn’t higher than the Flames’ full return. And frankly, it won’t be that shut. That doesn’t imply Florida misplaced right here; Tkachuk instantly signed for lower than he may’ve gotten on the open market, via the remainder of his prime. It actually doesn’t imply Tkachuk misplaced; he’s on a greater workforce, in a state with no earnings tax. Signing Huberdeau and Weegar was no lock, particularly given Florida’s (earlier) cap state of affairs. Tkachuk is signed, sealed and delivered till he’s effectively into his 30s.
And Calgary’s dub doesn’t come with out points; Huberdeau, productive as he’s, isn’t a whole participant on par with Tkachuk. He’s a UFA after subsequent season, and whether or not he stays is an open, very compelling query. Same goes for Weegar — however info are info. Huberdeau is an elite first-liner. Weegar is a first-pair man. The danger of dropping them is definitely worth the chance that you just signal each, particularly for Treliving, who gave the impression to be, let’s say, on the verge of the new seat. Unreal work. A chance price taking. Calgary, in some way, nonetheless ought to be a playoff workforce.
Calgary grade: A+
Florida grade: B+
Hailey Salvian: Brad Treliving was put in an unenviable place this week — making an attempt to win a commerce with a participant like Tkachuk going out the door. But he may need simply achieved it, at the least within the quick time period. Yes, he might want to attempt to retain Huberdeau and Weegar (two UFAs subsequent summer season), however along with his palms tied and little leverage with Tkachuk, he went out and introduced in a legit MVP candidate and a top-pair defenseman. Not that anybody has forgotten, however this offseason, the Flames additionally misplaced Johnny Gaudreau, who completed second in league scoring tied with … Huberdeau. This is the Tkachuk commerce, but when the Flames had been on the lookout for a playmaking, point-producing winger to fill a gap on the left facet, they simply received one.
Huberdeau can run the present in Calgary. His defensive impacts aren’t nice, however Calgary coach Darryl Sutter has helped in that space earlier than, and he ought to be capable to do it once more. On the defensive finish, the Flames, underneath Sutter, satisfaction themselves on limiting possibilities towards and being robust to play towards. Adding a stable two-way defenseman in Weegar ought to solely assist with that id. Not to say that beefing up the blue line ought to have been a precedence this offseason after the horrible show with out Chris Tanev in Round 2 towards Edmonton, however that want fell down the to-do checklist behind Gaudreau and Tkachuk.
This deal ought to give Calgary at the least another yr to attempt to take care of a core constructed round Huberdeau, Weegar, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane and Jacob Markstrom, to call just a few. And if contract talks, or the season, don’t go effectively, perhaps they attempt to flip one (or two) of them on the deadline for much more property within the Tkachuk commerce tree. A sneaky a part of this to look out for is any secondary strikes the Flames may make to seize some extra property by delivery out one of many many left-shot defensemen (Noah Hanifin, Oliver Kylington, Nikita Zadorov, Connor Mackey and Juuso Valimaki) within the group. Contract talks main as much as arbitration don’t go effectively with Kylington? Maybe they’ll transfer him for a excessive decide. Just a thought.
As for Florida, effectively, they received the very best participant for the longest time period on this deal. Tkachuk will make the Panthers higher, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the workforce was coping with an identical difficulty when it got here to Huberdeau and/or Weegar’s long-term future in Florida.
It’s early, however this appears like a win-win.
Calgary grade: A
Florida grade: B+
(Photo of Matthew Tkachuk: Sergei Belski / USA Today)