162Matthew Tkachuk
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Offseason update: Brodie getting harder to move, Tkachuk and team aren’t talking

Flames-related news recently has been quiet. Perhaps a little too quiet. Ominously quiet.

On Friday’s edition of the Pinder and Steinberg show, Pat welcomed in Eric Francis via telephone to address the quiet, mostly on the TJ Brodie trade front and the Matthew Tkachuk contract negotiations. As the title has already told you, there’s two major pieces of news dropped, and a whole lot of other important discussions going on.

You can listen to the 22-minute clip here, but here are some of the key points, player by player:

TJ Brodie: Francis reports that they’re still shopping him, but there’s not much interest right now, citing a person inside the organization that says it’s been “tough” (around seven minutes in). The major issue is that interested teams have already made moves, making it difficult to add Brodie. He suggests that they may need to pair him with “a guy like” Mark Jankowski in order to clear Brodie’s salary. That’s not entirely news, given that those two were Toronto-bound in the cancelled Nazem Kadri deal, but I think that the implication is that the trade return for those two won’t be as good as Kadri.

Michael Frolik: Eleven minutes in, the two briefly touch on Michael Frolik’s trade value. Again, there’s not really anything shocking: Frolik is hard to trade because of his age, his cap hit, and his relative impact on a roster. Francis suggests that teams aren’t willing to give up assets to take Frolik, but also that the Flames aren’t necessarily interested in acquiring any either – they just want to clear his salary. He again suggests that another piece may need to move to make that deal, but doesn’t offer a specific name.

Mark Jankowski: The centre’s name is bandied about a bit, both as part of a package and as a solo deal to clear up a bit of space. Francis says that there’s hesitancy in moving him from Calgary’s perspective a few times (especially at 13 minutes in), but that it might be a necessary sacrifice. He also brings up Sam Bennett (who is apparently still practising faceoffs) and Dillon Dube as potential replacements at centre.

Austin Czarnik: He is also mentioned in trade talk, and Francis says that it is a “possibility” (about 12:30 in), but that it only clears $1.25M in space.

Travis Hamonic: Around 15 minutes in, both talk about the rumours earlier this season that Hamonic was also on the trade block, dismissing it as other GMs being interested in trading for him rather than the Flames being interested in moving him. They bring up the possibility of him being moved at trade deadline if they feel they can’t come to terms with him, but Steinberg also says that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Hamonic re-signs for two or three years.

Matthew Tkachuk: The final section of the show (about 16:30 onwards) is dedicated to the Flames’ biggest offseason task. Francis brings up what he feels are the three options for a Tkachuk contract: two years, five years, or seven years. He also believes that the longer the wait goes on, the more likely it is that Tkachuk signs a two-year deal and everyone goes through this all again in 2021. Francis also throws in that he doesn’t believe that Tkachuk is signed to start the season, though he does see him as a Calgary Flame.

After that, Steinberg really drops the hammer, not only agreeing with Francis’ assessment that Tkachuk misses part of the season, but revealing that Tkachuk and the club aren’t even talking (18 minutes). There’s no specific holdup mentioned (it might just be a staring contest, as Steinberg says that silence is what the agent wants. They don’t want to be the first RFA domino to fall), but term is likely the issue. In his conversations with various agents, Francis believes that most RFAs in this offseason are set on big money deals that take them right to UFA, and then cashing in on the market. Tkachuk’s side is pushing for that, while the Flames are pushing for more.

  • TheDallyLama

    I know at this point might be a necessity, but I would hate to see Frolik moved for almost nothing, or even worse if we had to add something for a team to indulge us. He is definitely still a useful top 9 fwd. hope this one plays out better for us than what is suggested in the article. 🔥

    • LannyMac

      Still hanging on to the fact that Frolik and Brodie will fetch a return eh! Look at the economics, take the blinders off and what are you left with. Exactly a sweetener to unload enough salary to sign Tkachuk in late September early October. Tkachuk will not take a bridge deal. Two reasons he is already slow and as the years go by that will start to lessen his impact and more importantly he plays a physical game a couple more concussions and his career could be in jeopardy. To much risk for any player that can get a long term contract to settle for a bridge. Team would like it but he won’t sign one. Tre knows he will have to send draft picks or youth with Fro. In order to lessen the public opinion he will send a 2nd with Fro in late September and then tell us he did everything he could but it was tough to foresee the economic climate especially with the minimal cap increase. Really Tre Really. Then immediately after he will sign Chucky and all will be happy and say well you know Tre was in a tough spot. Or you will all post well thank goodness we’re not the Coilers.

      • TheDallyLama

        @Lanny… what is with some of you posters on here? This is why I don’t post a bunch, cuz of the doom n gloom posters like yourself. You strike me as a Wannabe Raffydog. Can’t just have a civil conversation and chat back and forth, has to be the world is ending and my blinders are on and no idea what I’m talking about. Read the original post again. Do u see where I say “it may be a necessity”? Or “I hope it doesn’t play out”? But yet I have my blinders on. Whatever man-free site, free speech, post what you want. Go back into your black hole in the ground.

        • LannyMac

          I feel sorry for you it’s unfortunate that you took my comment so personally. Hang in there life is good. I’m not negative just a realist even if you see it as negative. Let’s revisit this in late September early October if my prediction is incorrect I will gladly admit it. I can’t help but believe all the evidence so far is pointing in the direction I laid out.

          • TheDallyLama

            Lol don’t feel sorry for me bud. Life is good. Summers great, love my job, everyone in good health, and I’m not a “realist” armchair GM who thinks his opinion actually matters. I enjoy the content on this site, have been reading and occasionally commenting for 3 years now. Usually enjoy the comments But today I guess I let a damn “realist” get the best of me. Take it easy Lanny, we just along for the ride pal.

      • JeraldinChapparal

        He sure looked good playing on the top line for the Czechs at the WC. 7g 14 pts in 10 games. Only Mark Stone had more points. His fancy stats are always great. Plays at both ends, can play up and down your lineup, has a cup on his resume. Who wouldn’t want him? I’m going to miss him.

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        Assume you mean $6.75m or sit out the season. No benefit to sing a low dollar deal for only two years. In two year, the typical contract ask for a player like that will be $10m. But hey, it’s much more important to say you have an internal cap and nobody gets more. How does that change in two years.

  • Bobby Bitman

    Who will blink first in this game of chicken with MT ? I often wonder if the MT camp and the Marner camp ever factor in the fan response to a player / agent / dad demanding big money for mostly a small sample size. I doubt they care but if this goes long and the passionate fans of the flames perceive that MT s ask is unreasonable, he may go from Byng to Bung. I hope he is working on his footwork and his skating cause if he does not get significantly quicker, he’s not worth more than 6.5 (if that) IMO

    • LannyMac

      I understand your pt. Bitman but I am unfortunately old enough to know regardless of sport if things don’t get off to a good start for the Flames public opinion will turn on Tre. Fans will be screaming for Tkachuk to be signed for whatever he wants. Because G knows one player without a training camp can turn a whole season around.

  • calgaryfan

    It is time for the owners to play hardball with all the RFA’s and make them sit at home. The cap was brought in for the players and owners to share the revenue 50/50. All these greedy RFA’s are doing is taking money out of the pockets of fellow team mates.

  • MDG1600

    I suggest that us fans saddle up for a protracted contract negotiation with Tkachuk. The numbers being whispered about in Toronto for Marner are that the leafs have offered 8.75 AAV for a 3 yr bridge or 10 AAV for a 6 yr. As mentioned elsewhere in the comments Tkachuks skating really concerns me and hasn’t improved as much as i’d like to see. If the Flames can’t somehow keep his cap hit under $8.5 AAV it might be time to consider trading him.

    • Flint

      Just give Tkachuk the 2-3 year deal. Especially if we’re worried about skating etc. He has no business in the same conversation as Marner, not even close. Just get it done on 2-3 years and live with the consequences if he proves us wrong. 3 year deal and he’s still and RFA. Plus, it’s when Johnny and Gio and a bunch of others will be gone. If Marner is 3×8,75 then Tkachuk is 3×7 max. Tkachuk is a stud, but Marner is a whole other level.

      • mrroonie

        When Draisaitl was signed 2 years ago, he had scored the identical 77 points to what Tkachuk put up this past season, the difference being that Tkachuk had 5 more goals. Don’t forget to factor in that Draisaitl was on a line with McDavid for 63% of his ice time that season.

        • deantheraven

          Seems like somebody else (Chia) forgot that factor. Contracts almost always leave a bitter taste in someone’s mouth. I hope it isn’t us fans who end up rueing.
          Tkachuk should sign a bridge deal, 2-3 years, at $7 mil per year. I would be willing to wait and see if his value rises, and there’ll be room to pay him if it’s in the cards that he stays. I say let him grow into the role of leader on the team and instigate the new internal cap. $7 x3.

  • BendingCorners

    I’m pretty sure Tkachuk will sign before December 1st, but if he doesn’t … how many think the Flames can make the playoff without him? Cheers for yes, trashes for no.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      With or without Chucky, the Flames are going to be in tough to make the playoffs as I don’t see any wildcards coming out of the Pac this season. How SJ finishes top 3 in the Pac every season is a mystery which I am not betting against this season. Vegas is a lock for top 3. Canucks and Coyotes have improved this offseason. Enough to break into the top3? That’s why they play 82 games. It should also be noted that the Ducks will not be in rebuild very long. Their NHL-ready young talent is impressive. They could overachieve and reach top 3 this season, but more likely it will be in 20-21. That leaves the Flames and Oilers duking it out for who cares what. Of last season’s playoff clubs from the west, it’s a toss-up who has had the worst offseason–the Jets or the Flames. Jets could still make the playoffs as a wildcard, an avenue closed to the Flames, so unless Tre upgrades the talent by the TDL, this could be a long, hard winter for Flames’ fans such that our only hope is the thought of the photo op of Kenny King and Jeff Davison wearing hard hats and holding shovels during a breaking-ground ceremony for the new barn. Yahoo!

  • oilcanboyd

    In my opinion the agents are conspiring to drag all RFA negotiations. The longer it all drags on, the more they can get. BIG bonus money upfront and a contract that is lockout proof.

  • Trevy

    I truly believe it’s the agents that are responsible for what’s currently going on in the hockey world. There are approx 36 RFA’s still waiting for contracts and these agents have to realize they’re playing with fire in a salary cap world. The players with a true love for the game will eventually instruct their agents to get a deal done as we approach Sept. I don’t think Tkachuk is one of these players. He’s a great rising star but I feel like he’s already got that chip of entitlement on his shoulder and is going to handcuff this team. He is not worth more than $7 mill on a bridge deal and luckily, Tre is a shrewd business man.

    As for Brodie, if there is no return value out there, then that’s ok. He’s still a great dman that eats a lot of minutes and can play up and down the rotation in case Andersson struggles or injuries occur. Frolik on the other hand, I would still try and package him up for simply the asset of cap space and to allow Dube to secure a spot

    • Kevin R

      Yup starting to get a little fed up with the RFA mentality of me me me. Im just blown away that these 21-22-23 years olds are putting their noses up to long term 8-9-10 million $$$ per deals. In fact, it makes me bitter. These guys better watch out or they will totally lose the support of fans & quite frankly just lock the SOB’s out. I hear they are whining about the escrow. Lets get rid of guaranteed contracts & then maybe the escrow can be punted. They are whining about NHL not doing enough to increase revenues, well how many players have we been whining about that dont perform anywhere close to their cap/salary. Starting to get sick of all this garbage. This is only the start, wait till next year & the year after. How many fans will have to shell out big $$$ to watch games & the young players they are paying to see are sitting out because they are so greedy. Needless to say I am turning on these players.

      As for Frolik, how could Dorian say no to Frolik if we eat a $1.0mill & their actual dollar outlay is $2.0 mill??? Surely that would be worth a 3rd to Melnyk, as the Sens would actually add a forward to their top 6 group.

      • Bobby Bitman

        @Kevin R. You make my point and I believe that more and more fans will feel this way. Regardless of their intentions, many come across as spoiled & entitled. How the MT contract shakes out and the resulting fan reaction will be interesting. I, for one do not think he’s worth over 7 but I bet he thinks he’s worth way more and will probably get it. Don’t envy Tre

      • Theo/14

        What do you expect tho. They understand the nhl life expectancy had taken a huge step back the last 5 years. There is less and less effective 30 + year old players as ever before. Young mans game. Prime is now 20-25 years old

        • Kevin R

          So they take a 7 year deal for anywhere from $56-70 million stinking dollars & they arent set for life. Gee whiz they may have to work for a pittens $3.0-4.0 mill a year on 2-3 year terms when they hit their late twenties low thirty’s. Sorry I have no sympathy for these greedy b’s who now put maxing out their earning potential over winning a Cup for the fans that make this incredible living possible.

          • deantheraven

            I used to be on the side of the players, meaning the last two lock outs when I say “used to be”. Now it’s different. It’s different in every business. 70 years ago we needed to organize labour to make it fair for the working class. NHL players are not working class, and unions have driven up the cost of doing business. Sure, owners are and perhaps always will be greedy, but I’m not sure the cost of a ticket and concession prices would continue to soar into the stratosphere if the cost of talent wasn’t going up exponentially year-by-year.
            JH (and his agent)signed for $6.75 mil when the salary cap was whatever it was. More teams should adopt the “internal cap” concept, making your best or most valuable player the highest paid until their deal expires.
            Would that be so hard to swallow?

    • Bobby Bitman

      @trevy …entitlement, a vast and interesting concept that you mention. I would hazard a guess that most, if not all commenters, have worked extremely hard throughout their lives for what they have and to provide for their kids / families. Not to mention for tickets and merchandise for their fav team. T can leave a sour taste when SOME players are perceived to be entitled. The fan response to MT may be interesting f this drags on. He and his camp may not care, it it could be a different environment for the young “stud” around here. It’s already happening in the Marner comment sections. Not to mention the immediate expectations that will increase when MT signs for big dough. Maybe I.m just too old, still wearing my burgundy pant suit, but to me, there is a place for positive public perception that holds a non monetary value. Perceived greed is never a good thing In my books, but again, it may be different in today’s world.

      • Trevy

        Hey Bobby, btw big fan of Eugene Levy, which unfortunately shows my age as well. I understand your point and agree with your view, but there are players, especially ones that come from NHL bloodlines, that already know the ins and outs of contract negotiations. These are the ones that I refer to as entitled. It’s a shame the game is evolving more around money and business and in turn, the fans are the ones who feel the repercussions. These contracts are getting out of control and will ultimately cause more friction when the next NHL collective agreement begins

        • Budgie

          The real Bobby Bitman is Bobby Curtola, Edmonton’s one and only Mr. Telethon. Players finishing their ELC and then jumping into huge money is ruining the Salary Cap system and throttling teams-Mathew Tkachuk is just seeing what the market will give him-his agent leading the charge-Toronto gives Austin Mathews 12 million at 21 yrs. old-MT isn’t comparable but it has put upwards pressure on salaries

      • Budgie

        Giving a player just finishing their ELC big money is the latest trend that the agents push teams for-it is risky with unproven talent. Toronto gives Austin Mathews just under 12 million, naturally MT’s agent is shooting high, however Nylander gets under 7, who would you compare MT to? Nathan Mackinnon gets 6.3, A ho gets 8.45-I would compare MT to the 6-7 million players. Likely he will be upwards of 8 like A Ho. Would I trade MT for an A Ho-yes probably be a smart move if you are rebuilding, otherwise MT is an important player to the team as is. Higher than 8 i’d say trade him.

        You aren’t too old Bitman, Sid Dithers is too old. Too old for Rock and Roll.

      • Bobby Bitman

        I realize market value and all that but Is Skinner worth 9, or was he paid 9? There is no way imo MT is “worth” 10, but again my kids laugh at me when I’m trying to figure out something new on my iPhone. They just grab it from me and say “here just do this” and hand it back to me. I’ve learned nothing Maybe these players and agents are saying the same thing “here, just do this”. We shall see.

        • Albertabeef

          Do you not remember when Johnny was negotiating his last contract? He did not talk to the team or have anything to do with the negotiating. “I just sign when my agent tells me to”.

        • HarveysFleaCollar

          Ok. I see your point, although these RFA’S are the upper echelon of the league now. They need to get paid on these 2nd contracts because very soon gms will not be giving out contracts with term or dollars to guys in there 29s and early 30s. Look at Neal, Lucic, Shattenkirk etc.

          • Garry T

            Harvey … getting paid ….there are over 700 players in the union. Is it fair to “ pay 62 and not the rest.? This is a team game. If this keeps up, the owners will have to say I am done. Then what?

      • Bond 0097

        Oilers paid Draisaitl 8.5 for 8 years, one of only 2 – 50 goal scorers last year and also had over 100 points. You think MT is worth more than Leon? The stupid runs deep on the flames doesn’t it?

    • LannyMac

      Let’s not forget Trevy it was the GMs that keep antiing up ridiculous salaries in order to try and keep or save there jobs. What they don’t realize that offering these stupid contracts only defers there pink slips for a latter date.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    These RFA are starting to get a little greedy for my liking. I would think the average player would be starting to get a little pissed, they’re getting moved to bump salary or the GM is griding them because the team needs the cash to pay a few players.

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    And we are to believe Eric Controversy? Sorry, but his opinion is nothing more than click bait. Nothing is going on in the media, but then again this isn’t Toronto. BT tends not to use the media to speed along negotiations. His other observations are nothing more than that. He reports accurately what has already happened, except he may add “get out of here” in a piece about a player bought out.

  • buts

    We know MT’s dad followed the money and is advising him. Myself and quite a few others all said this months ago. If I’m BT I’d let him sit. I know he’s a very very good smart hockey player but also a very very poor skater, if he gets more than 7.5 what do you pay the others? The window to trade is all but closed, Brodie will get a good return at the TDL, Frolik will get very little. BT waited too long and now he’s cornered.

  • Dunk

    Moving Jankowski will be a huge mistake. He has been a late bloomer at every level. To give up on him now after bringing him this far would be so wrong. He has all the tools and I think will yet develope into a fine Centre. I would love to see him get a chance over Monahan on the top line. Jankowski is well rounded kills penalties has good speed for a big man and he is not a liability defensively. Johnny could bounce pucks off of him as easily as he does for Monahan…

    • Budgie

      Jankowski was our best penalty killer and led the league in SH goals-trade him? No. Trade Backlund to clear the Cap Space-no one wants Frolik or Brodie the article says. Dube and Bennett are both centers

        • Budgie

          We have extra centres and not enough RW-Frolik is RW, why get rid of him out of desperation? Backlund is good but 5 mill is about what Calgary needs for Tkachuk and Mangiapanne-Backlund 5.35 plus 7.76 but Backlund has a NTC-he would have to waive it. Calgary could end up not being able to sign Tkachuk.

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        It would be better to have a C on the PK that could win more than 50% of the faceoff. Backlund can, but not Janko. As a player, he may be a good one to hang onto. As a defensive C, not so much.

        • SgtRoadBlock

          11 seasons how many more years you going to hold onto him when he has maybe no trade value? that what we did with Iggy his return was crap, That just facts

          if you look at Janko first 3 seasons he put up more points then did Backland First 6 seasons of his 11 with the Flames… Backland didn’t do much vs the Av’s in the playoffs on the PK… Soo maybe try a cheaper Center not like we at the Cap oh wait…

          Sometimes it ok to try something Different and i think it about time soon…

          Blaming this Kid a joke his line mates over the 3 years have been Brouwer. Jager, Neal and soon the Lucic it so bad Janko ice time got cut and he had to score goals on the PK to be helpful to the team.. That heart for the Red crest in my eyes..


          • Albertabeef

            Backlund age 23 170gp 23g 39a 62pts 0.37ppg
            Jankowski age 24 152gp 30g 26a 56pts 0.37ppg

            Looks fairly equal to me. Very few 19, 20, and 21 year olds only play a handful of games their first 3 seasons. Comparing a kid who starts at 20 years old in the NHL and a 23 year old rookie might not be the most accurate comparison, as far as paths to the NHL. Consider Mangiapane has played 54 NHL games over the last two seasons, Andersson has played 90 NHL games over the last 3 seasons. It’s a fairly typical progression of players who don’t spend 4 years in college.

          • LannyMac

            @sgt There is definitely one part of Jankos game worth getting excited about. When the kid steps on the ice for PK duty he seems to light up and to me it’s like Jekyl. 5on5 he becomes Hyde. With his stature he should be using his body. If he had even the slightest bit of Getzlaf in him what a player he could be. Getzlaf is talented but more importantly he has a nasty streak and an ability to shield the puck and wear defenceman out. If he ever shows a little of that he could be superb 3C in the league. For me another year of uninspired hockey he is trade bait at the deadline. I regard him as Colbourne 2.0 right now there is no room for a guy with that stature playing like a diva. He should call Colbourne ask him what Tre thought of his style.