Friends, there’s a possibility that Matthew Tkachuk has played his last game with the Calgary Flames. The restricted free agent winger was dragged into salary arbitration by the Flames, never a good sign, and even Sportsnet’s Eric Francis said that he’ll probably be traded on Tuesday on a radio hit in St. Louis.
Here’s what we could reasonable expect to see from a Tkachuk trade, and teams that could reasonably expect to trade for him.

Possible trade returns for Tkachuk

Tkachuk is a unicorn. He’s great at hockey, a unique combination of offence and agitation. Players like him don’t get traded often, nor do they potentially get traded when the acquiring team can negotiate a contract of their chosen length and price tag.
These examples may be low-ball estimates as a result:
  • Chicago sent Alex Debrincat to Ottawa for first, second and third-round picks.
  • Minnesota sent Kevin Fiala to Los Angeles for a first-round pick and Brock Faber.
  • Buffalo sent Jack Eichel and a third-round pick to Vegas for a first-round pick, Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs.
  • Minnesota sent Jason Zucker to Minnesota for a first-round pick, Calen Addison and Alex Galchenyuk.
A reasonable expectation for a price tag is probably in the neighbourhood of a first-round pick, a good prospect, and a good roster player.
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Possible new homes for Tkachuk

We’ll try to focus on clubs that Tkachuk would reasonably sign with for a long-term deal. That probably limits to four places: St. Louis (where he’s from), Ottawa (where his brother plays), New Jersey (tons of cap space and right outside New York City), and Nashville (a good hockey town and a great party town).
Let’s start with St. Louis. The Blues have no cap space – they’re $125,000 over the cap according to PuckPedia – but they’d probably jump at the chance to get Tkachuk, a hometown kid. In terms of roster players, the Flames would probably have their eyes on the likes of Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas or Colton Parayko. The challenge is that none of them would put a big enough dent in Tkachuk’s anticipated cap hit (probably north of $9.5 million) to balance the books. WHL star Jake Neighbours would be the prospect i would target, but QMJHL star Zachary Bolduc is no slouch either.
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Brady Tkachuk is a star in Ottawa, and the Senators have over $10 million in cap space, so they could fit in Matthew, too. Roster players that could fit for the Flames include Josh Norris and Drake Batherson. On the prospect front, the Sens have a lot of good ones. Among them: Tyler Boucher, Ridly Greig, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Lassi Thomson.
After missing out on Johnny Gaudreau, New Jersey might set their sights on Tkachuk. Their possible roster players include Dawson Mercer, Damon Severson and Ryan Graves. Alexander Holtz would probably be the most tantalizing prospect that the Flames would set their eyes on.
Finally, Nashville is low-key one of the better hockey towns in the league. The team’s usually good, the fans are nuts, and it’s one of the most fun towns in the league, too. The Preds could offer up some roster players such as Eeli Tolvanen, Colton Sissons and Dante Fabbro. In terms of propsects, QMJHL star Zachary L’Heureux could be exciting, as could be former Calgary Hitmen star Luke Prokop.
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If the Flames opt to trade Tkachuk, where would you prefer him to go? What kind of package would you like the Flames to get for Tkachuk? Let us know in the comments!

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