Matthew Tkachuk admits he spoke to other teams and shares why he wanted out of Calgary

Matt Garland
July 24, 2022  (12:15)

Florida Panthers' newest player Matthew Tkachuk spoke to Sportnet's Eric Francis, for the first time since the biggest trade of the offseason went down.

The Calgary Flames traded Matthew Tkachuk and a conditional fourth-round draft pick to the Panthers for forward Jonathan Huberdeau, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, Panthers prospect Cole Schwindt and Florida's lottery-protected first-round selection in the 2025 NHL draft.
I put myself in a position with the last deal I signed to kind of reevaluate my life and my career at this stage, and I kind of came to the conclusion after the RFA period (July 13) it was time to look elsewhere.

There's a lot that went into it. There's no single reason why I left. At the end of the day, I wanted to re-evaluate where I'm at, and after talking to a few teams I did that, and kind of came down to that conclusion.

I didn't know what my decision was going to be until that talking period.

It all changed then.

I'm sitting here, very emotional about my time there in Calgary. I'm sad and happy. Very mixed. ... I'm sad I'm leaving so many great people in the city and the organization.

I feel like I did it the right way. I played my hardest. I tried to be in the community as much as possible. I knew pretty recently it was time for a change. There was no second-guessing it or delaying it. I told them right away. It's like ripping a bandaid off right away. It's hard.

I hope people can respect me for that, and for trying to help them out as much as they tried to help me out in this process, because I feel working together really did benefit both of us.»

Tkachuk's phone call to Flames GM Brad Treliving was an emotional one.
It was the hardest phone call I've ever had in this sport at any level. Nothing even comes close to rivalling it. It was a very real conversation. Pretty emotional for me, some of the most emotions I've had. And he was too. It was like two friends. We really respect one another. I wanted to make sure I worked with him and not leave them dry.

We worked together and it was really seamless. He did an unbelievable job. He's one of the most respected GMs in the league for a reason. We worked through it and I think we're both happy with how the results came.

I think Tre respected me for talking to him right away about it.

I wanted to be straight with them right away and being able to work with them made this so much easier

It did not have anything to do with it. This is my career. I signed my last contract for the sole reason of (options). I could have taken a longer deal and more money, but I wanted to re-evaluate after a three-year bridge deal, and that's what I did.»

We narrowed it to three teams that I would have been very, very happy to go to, but at the end of the day Florida pushed like hell and it all happened within a day.

The thing I was most attracted to is the competitiveness and how close they've been and how good of a team they are and how great they will be in the future — it's something I really feel I can help with.

All the guys are in their mid-to-late 20's. ... The chance to win was the most attractive. ... The sun, the beach and all that stuff – don't get me wrong, that's really, unbelievably attractive, but the chance to win trumps it all.»

You have to respect Tkachuk's honesty and appreciate how he handled the situation. He could have waited the year and put Calgary in a real tough spot. On the other hand you have to give GM Brad Treliving a ton of credit, he did very well with the cards he was dealt. Huberdeau finished 3rd in the league in scoring last season. Weegar is a proven top pair defenceman. Both are pending UFAs at seasons end. If both aren't willing to sign long term contracts Treliving will have plenty of time to assess the market and recoup more assets back.
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Matthew Tkachuk admits he spoke to other teams and shares why he wanted out of Calgary

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