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.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    So Chucky should accept less dough for the sake of the team? Sure and then what doe Tre do? Trades for Lucic’s worst contract in the NHL. To expect Chucky to accept less because of the likes of Lucic is absolutely inappropriate and disrespectful to Chucky, his agent and Chucky’s family.

    • Bobby Bitman

      Not sure he should accept “less”. But he’s sure as hell is not worth 8-9. If tre signs him for that amount it’s just the start of trouble. How’d you like to be JG or Gio and in struts MT to the room making 8.5? Especially if he holds out and misses camp or the beginning of the season. I agree with some other posters on here…here is your offer Matthew, if it’s not enough, enjoy NHL Center Ice for the season.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        No skin off Chucky’s nose as was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Mom and Dad have his old bedroom ready and available should he need it for short or long-term use. Chuck’s gonna get the bucks whether it is in Cal or elsewhere.

      • Theo/14

        Inherited a non moveable contact. Inherited a contract that cannot be bought out. Inherited a player who cannot stick handle,
        Pass or skate. But hey we got an extra half mill in cap space lol

        • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

          “Inherited a player who cannot stick handle, pass or skate. But hey we got an extra half mill in cap space”

          Lucic was better than Neal was at passing and skating last year from my viewings and all the underlying data suggests the same. I mean Neal couldn’t even keep up to Tkachuk who isn’t a really a standout skater at all. Neal was absolutely atrocious and played with way better linemates than Lucic did. Lucic is also a year younger than Neal.

          Neal has spent the majority of his career playing with Brad Richards in Dallas, Crosby/Malkin in Pittsburgh and Fillip Forsberg in Nashville. It’s funny when we signed him last year I was hopeful, but my friend whose a massive Pittsburgh fan said one thing to me that scared the crap out of me and it seems incredibly right from watching Neal last year. Whenever Malkin would go down with injury and he wasn’t with Crosby or vice versa Neal would absolutely disappear. Then this summer, I was talking to a Dallas fan and he said the exact same thing. The reason Neal was traded from Dallas is back then Richards got injured one year and Neal didn’t score a single goal without him for like 10-12 games and just completely disappeared off the map and was basically unplayable. Neal is a Bottom. 6 winger whose just been elevated his entire career from playing with elite centres. The only way Neal cracks even 10 goals again is if he’s playing with McDavid and I don’t think you want Neal anywhere near McDavid long term, so I doubt that lasts. AND AT LEAST LUCIC IS TOUGH!! The both suck, but at least Lucic can beat the crap out of the odd person and he isn’t terrible driving the play like Neal was last year.

        • BendingCorners

          Except Lucic’s contract apparently is movable – it has moved once after all. But you’re right, Neal can’t do any of those things so replacing him with another player who also can’t but who costs less must be a bad idea.

        • Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis

          “Inherited a non moveable contact. Inherited a contract that cannot be bought out”

          It was unmovable for Edmonton, but it’s not as bad for us with them picking up some of the tab. If he’s bought out in two years time, it’s like $3.6 million year 1, $4.9 year 2 and then only $560k years 3 & 4. We actually save $1.4 million in years 3 & 4 from what Neal’s exact same buyout would be.

        • Trevy

          Aren’t you a bundle of positivity. It was two players that are beyond their prime and weren’t motivated to play with their respective teams anymore. One bad contract for another. The deed is done, get over it and move on

  • Albertabeef

    Okay, now I’m okay with trading Tkachuk to Ottawa. Not even talking to the team, get this punk outta here. We don’t need those type of players on our team.

    It would actually be funny if all the teams of this RFA crop got together and told them they would be sitting out the season if none of their contracts were signed by the end of this moth. “We stop negotiating as of September first. If you want to play the following season, you better be ready to negotiate next summer.”

          • HarveysFleaCollar

            Maybe I should not have verbally assaulted you, but I can only handle so much idiocracy from one poster. I will try to refrain from calling you barnyard animals or produce if you try to limit your moronic posts? Sound like a fair deal?

          • Albertabeef

            He plays like a punk, I accept that as the player he is. However into the second week of August and his side has gone silent enough for Tre to say so publicly? Either him or his agent need to take a walk. But I don’t believe Tre should be airing the teams dirty laundry either. I miss the old days when the dirty laundry wasn’t so public, makes you really hate the businesses side of things. But Harvey will you ever have a conversation or do you just name call and add nothing to any conversation? But whatever, my give a Feuk meter pretty much just ran out.

          • Albertabeef

            you “can only handle so much idiocracy from one poster”? Maybe you should go back and read your own posts and get mad at yourself. I post my opinion, nobody said you HAD to agree. Opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one and you can only enjoy your own stink.

  • Bond 0097

    Look on the bright side, you’re genius that traded a real player (that had one bad year mind you) for a player that simply is a boat anchor and too lazy to fight anymore with the worst contract in the league, is the one you are trusting in negotiations with Tkachuk and managing you’re cap LOL. It’s been such a refreshing summer watching you guys fail so badly and nobody is even playing hockey yet…

    • supra steve

      “you’re” is an abbreviation for you are.
      “your” shows possession.
      I’m no spelling bee champ, this is just pretty basic stuff. May lead people to believe that you are not quite as smart as you think you are. “LOL”

    • Mitchell

      James Neal was never going to bounce back with the flames. He was either entitled, lazy or both. He was always behind the play, he couldn’t score, was slow, wasn’t all that physical, and wasnt good defensively. The thing with neal is that he needs to produce to have any positive contribution at all. Last year he didn’t do that. Perhaps he can bounce back with edmonton, but I believe it will only happen on McDavids line if he can keep up. The fallacy in your opinion is that you assume immediately that neal will be an effective player for edmonton.

      • Bond 0097

        LOL you just described lucic, but I don’t assume anything at all, I don’t CARE if Neal can still play hockey, I know that he can definitely be bought out or left unprotected in the expansion draft and lucic cannot. There is no upside to lucic unless you want him to fight our goalie lol

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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..


          • 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.

          • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.