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Brad Treliving on big trade with Florida: ‘We added a premier forward to our team.’

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
On Friday night, the Calgary Flames made a big trade. The club sent restricted free agent Matthew Tkachuk and a conditional 2025 fourth-round pick to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt and a conditional 2025 first-round pick.
On Saturday afternoon, general manager Brad Treliving walked local media through the process of how the trade came to fruition.
Treliving shared that last weekend, he spoke with Matthew Tkachuk’s agent Craig Oster (and subsequently Tkachuk himself) about the player’s future with the Flames. They indicated to Treliving that Tkachuk wouldn’t sign with the Flames long-term and outlined his reasons for it – Treliving declined to get into details – and it was agreed that the Flames would try to facilitate a trade. The Flames filed for club-elected salary arbitration on Monday to facilitate that process and extend the time they had available to make a team. They were given a list of teams Tkachuk would consider signing with, and then got to work.
“He made a decision to move on,” said Treliving of Tkachuk’s decision. “I appreciate his honesty. I appreciate him coming to that decision. A week ago, this was not a plan that we had. We were not looking to move Matthew Tkachuk, but we also were put in a situation, we had to do the very best thing we could for the organization. He chose a path to go down, and we had to facilitate that as best as we possibly could.”
Treliving told Pat Steinberg subsequently on Sportsnet 960 The Fan’s Flames Talk that the league office told him it was the first sign-and-trade deal, as the Flames signed Tkachuk to an eight-year deal immediately prior to the swap (a product of negotiations between Tkachuk and the Panthers that preceded the trade).
Treliving indicated when asked that Tkachuk’s decision to move along wasn’t tied to Johnny Gaudreau’s similar move in any way. He downplayed the notion that Calgary isn’t a favourable destination – including an impassioned defence of the club and city – and also downplayed the concept of avoiding acquiring American-born players. He indicated that the club continues to do their homework on players, and deals with challenges as they emerge.
“You deal with issues as they come up,” said Treliving. “We’ve dealt with a couple of issues. Players have made choices. They have every right to make those choices, we deal with them as they come up. You can crawl over into the corner, in the fetal position and suck your thumb, or you can deal with it. And what we’ve tried to do is deal with it.”
Treliving on Huberdeau:
Second in the league in scoring. He’s been a top player throughout his career in the league. I think he’s one of the premier forwards in the league. Not just what he does, the ability to make the players around him better. He’s dynamic. He’s competitive. We added a premier forward to our team.
Treliving on Weegar:
Many people may not know MacKenzie Weegar. This player we believe is a top pairing defenceman. To me, he’s just really at the prime of his career. Was a right shot defenceman, played on the left side for the last year, the last two years primarily on the top pair for the Presidents’ [Trophy] champions. We think this guy makes our team a lot better today.
Treliving on Schwindt:
Big, long, rangy centreman. We think he’s got a chance to be, at the end of the day, we think he can play in your middle-six. We think he could be really good in the three hole, because when you look at it, his ability to kill penalties, his ability to win face-offs, a high character kid… This goes back to his days in the OHL, so he was a part of it.
Regarding the conditional draft picks, here’s what happens based on the information we’ve cobbled together:
  • If Florida’s 2024 first-round pick is a top 10 pick, their 2025 first-rounder goes to Philadelphia (as part of the Claude Giroux trade). As a result, the Flames would receive Florida’s 2026 first-rounder and send Florida their 2026 fourth-rounder.
  • If Florida’s 2024 first-round pick is not a top 10 pick but their 2025 first-rounder is a top 10 pick, the Panthers would retain their 2025 pick. As a result, the Flames would receive Florida’s 2026 first-rounder and send Florida their 2026 fourth-rounder.
  • If Florida’s 2024 and 2025 first-round picks are both not top 10 picks, the Flames would receive Florida’s 2025 first-rounder and send Florida their 2025 fourth-rounder.
As usual, Treliving indicated that he’s not done making moves but declined to hint at anything in the works.
We’ll hear from Huberdeau and Weegar in the coming days.

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