Matthew Tkachuk is starting the season with the Calgary Flames. A tweet that has since disappeared from Calgary Flames correspondent @AAVickers said as much, as well as quoting Glen Gulutzan as saying “You all know the magic number.”
This development is not entirely surprising, considering the sort of impact that Matthew Tkachuk has made in the past few weeks with the Flames organization. After managing to be public enemy number 1 in Penticton, he has carried his strong effort forward with the main club in preseason play. Predominately playing with Sam Bennett and Troy Brouwer, the line has shown good chemistry, posted strong possession numbers and put up points on the board. The line also adds a physical and agitation dimension that has been lacking among the organization’s skilled players in recent seasons. In 4 games, Tkachuk has posted 2 goals, 10 shots, 6 penalty minutes and scored the shootout winner last night against Arizona. Considering the lack of depth the organization has on the left side, the fact that Johnny Gaudreau still has not signed and how well he has played, it makes sense for Tkachuk to at least get a regular season trial with the big club. Where things go from there remains to be seen, but the Flames can play Tkachuk in 9 games before deciding whether to burn the first year of his entry-level deal, or send him back to the London Knights of the OHL.
Considering what he has done so far, it is not unfathomable that we may see Tkachuk for the duration of the season.