Matthew Tkachuk has told the Calgary Flames that he won’t be re-signing with the club, multiple sources tell The Athleticmaking a trade of the 24-year-old All-Star forward likely to happen soon.
Tkachuk has not officially asked for a trade, but the fact that the restricted free agent is unwilling to make a long-term commitment to Calgary would be the driving force behind the decision to move him now.
In addition to making the Flames aware that he won’t be re-signing with the organization that picked him at No. 6 in the 2016 NHL Draft, Tkachuk has supplied them with a list of teams with whom he would agree to a long- term contract, according to multiple sources. Tkachuk does have some power over where he might land, given that teams likely won’t want to pay as large of a trade price for him as a rental.
One source close to the situation said that Tkachuk’s list has had St. Louis, Vegas, Florida, Nashville and Dallas on it for months, though that may not be the official list he gave Calgary. New Jersey and the New York Rangers are also among the other teams that have expressed interest in the past.
This week, Calgary filed for club-elected arbitration. A hearing is expected to be held between July 27 and Aug. 11. The date for Tkachuk’s case has not yet been announced. If the team and Tkachuk did go to arbitration, a one-year contract would be awarded.
That procedural step gave the Flames time to work out a deal — either a sign-and-trade, which would allow for a maximum eight-year extension and perhaps increase the size of the return, or just a traditional trade including his signing rights. A long-term contract would likely carry at least a $9 million annual average value for Tkachuk, who had 42 goals and 104 points in 82 games last season. The left winger was voted a second-team All-Star.
At this point, it appears highly unlikely that the Flames could convince Tkachuk to re-sign, even if they offered him a huge contract and the captaincy. One source said it’s expected that Tkachuk will definitely be dealt before the arbitration hearing.
(Picture: Jeff Curry/USA Today)