The Calgary Flames and Matthew Tkachuk are parting ways after six seasons as part of a blockbuster deal with the Florida Panthers.
Tkachuk was traded to the Panthers and immediately agreed to an eight-year contract extension with his new organization, the team announced Friday night.
Pat Steinberg @Fan960Steinberg
GM Brad Treliving with us says Friday’s Matthew Tkachuk trade was the first ever sign and trade in NHL history.<br><br>Calgary, Florida, and Tkachuk’s camp negotiated a contract. Tkachuk then signed the deal with Calgary before a trade was made with the Panthers. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Flames?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Flames</a>
In return, the Flames received All-Star winger Jonathan Huberdeau, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt, a lottery-protected 2025 first-round draft pick and a conditional fourth-round pick.
The Flames announced Monday that they filed for club-elected arbitration with Tkachuk, which provided them "the opportunity to continue to work with his representatives towards a contractual resolution while removing the possibility of an offer sheet."
However, The Athletic's Jeremy Rutherford and Hailey Salvian reported Wednesday that Tkachuk informed the team he didn't intend to sign a new deal with the club.
The St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars were among Tkachuk's preferred trade destinations along with the Panthers, per Rutherford and Salvian.
Tkachuk played out the final year of a three-year, $19 million bridge deal he signed in 2019 during the 2021-22 campaign and was a restricted free agent this offseason.
The Flames selected Tkachuk with the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft. He has been a consistent scorer over his six-year career but took a significant leap forward during the 2021-22 season.
The 24-year-old finished with a career-high 42 goals and 62 assists for 104 points in 82 games. His performance helped Calgary finish first in the Pacific Division with a 50-21-11 record.
In 431 career games in Calgary, Tkachuk notched 152 goals and 230 assists for 382 points. He'll now look to replicate that success with the Panthers.
After losing Claude Giroux in free agency to the Ottawa Senators, landing Tkachuk is huge for Florida in its pursuit of a Stanley Cup title.
There's a good chance he plays on the top line alongside Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart, but he could go on the second line with Sam Bennett and Patric Hornqvist to give the Panthers two dangerous scoring lines.
Meanwhile, the Flames deserve credit for receiving a lucrative return package despite the limited leverage because of Tkachuk's contract situation.
Huberdeau is one of the NHL's best play-driving wingers. He recorded a career-high 115 points (30 goals and 85 assists) across 80 appearances last season.
Weegar has improved his point total in each of his six NHL seasons, too. He tallied 44 points (eight goals and 36 helpers) in 80 games this past season, and there's still more offensive upside if he gets additional playing time on the power play in Calgary.
While the Flames secured other assets in Schwindt and the draft picks, the key to the trade will be re-signing Huberdeau and Weegar. They are both potential unrestricted free agents following the 2022-23 campaign.
All told, the trade sent shockwaves throughout the NHL and it could ultimately be a win-win deal for both sides if Calgary retains all the assets it received.