A tough summer for the Flames just got tougher. The Flames have already lost Johnny Gaudreau to free agency (Columbus) and today the club announced they are heading to arbitration with Matthew Tkachuk.
The Flames have filed for club-elected salary arbitration with Matthew Tkachuk. This provides us the opportunity to continue to work with his representatives towards a contractual resolution while removing the possibility of an offer sheet.— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) July 18, 2022
Tkachuk's contract is up and he will clearly be looking for something north of $8 million per season and now knows what the Flames were offering Johnny Gaudreau as well. And that was over $10 million a season. Buckle up.
The Flames NEED to sign Tkachuk to a long term deal, but the question remains: does he want to? Johnny Gaudreau said he loved Calgary, yet he bolted to Columbus, of all places, for less term and less money. Did Matthew Tkachuk watch the Gaudreau saga unfold and is be thinking of heading home to the States instead of staying in Calgary? Or does he want to remain a Flame and guide this team into the future as a potential captain and leader for years to come? Either way, each scenario impacts the franchise greatly. If he signs long term and stays the course, the Flames can add a piece and continue to contend. If he chooses to leave, you'd think a rebuild is in order. The way the Flames have handled this offseason's free agency period has left a lot to be desired. Calgary still has to re-up Oliver Kylington and Andrew Mangiapane as well and those could be deciding factors as well.
You have to think Tkachuk is thinking long and hard about this and losing his linemate and seeing what the Flames have brought on board can't be too enticing to him and his future in Calgary.
We'll keep you posted as the Flames turn.