Flames GM: Tkachuk’s decision ‘had nothing to do’ with Gaudreau leaving

Posted: 23/07/2022 in NHL
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It appears Matthew Tkachuk always had his heart set on leaving Calgary, regardless of whether Johnny Gaudreau stayed or not.

“It had nothing to do with it,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving told reporters Saturday, including Sportsnet’s Eric Francis. “Matthew’s decision was not tied to Johnny’s whatsoever.”

Calgary traded Tkachuk, along with a conditional fourth-round pick, to the Florida Panthers on Friday night in exchange for Jonathan HuberdeauMacKenzie WeegarCole Schwindt, and a conditional first-rounder. The deal came just over a week after Gaudreau left in free agency to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Treliving said the trade came together quickly. Reports Wednesday indicated that Tkachuk, a restricted free agent who could’ve become an unrestricted free agent in 2023, informed the Flames he wouldn’t re-sign long term.

“A week ago, this was not a plan that we had,” Treliving said, per The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian. “We were not looking to move Matthew Tkachuk, but we were put in a situation where we had to do the best for the organization.”

Treliving explained the Flames’ situation using a humorous analogy.

“You can crawl into the fetal position and suck your thumb. Or you can deal with it. We’re going to deal with it,” he told The Fan 960’s Pat Steinberg.

However, Treliving quickly dismissed the notion that star players don’t want to play in Calgary.

“The city has taken some body shots,” he said. “Quite frankly, it pisses me off. It’s a wonderful community. We’ve got a top team in the league. People have the right to pick and choose where they want to go, but as a community and organization, we do not have to apologize for anything.”

The Flames are coming off a 111-point season – the second-best in franchise history. Losing Tkachuk and Gaudreau certainly stings, but adding Huberdeau and Weegar should help Calgary remain a contender in 2022-23.

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