NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 24, 2022

by | Jul 24, 2022 | News, NHL | 31 comments

The aftermath of the Matthew Tkachuk trade plus the latest contract signings and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPORTSNET: Eric Francis reports Matthew Tkachuk explained his refusal to sign a long-term contract with the Calgary Flames. At the time, the 24-year-old winger was a restricted free agent who was a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

Calgary Flames traded winger Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers on July 22. (NHL Images).

Tkachuk indicated he knew when he inked his previous contract in 2019 that there was a chance that it would be time to leave when the deal was over. He said there wasn’t any single reason behind his decision.

He explained that he wanted to re-evaluate where he was at that point in his career. The winger stated that he didn’t know what his choice would be until after he spoke with several teams.

His decision forced the club to trade him on Friday night to the Florida Panthers in a multi-player deal that sent winger Jonathan Huberdeau and defenseman MacKenzie Weegar to the Flames. He agreed to an eight-year deal worth $9.5 million per season with the Panthers.

Tkachuk indicated it wasn’t an easy decision, dismissing speculation that he was motivated by the recent departure of former linemate Johnny Gaudreau to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He said he was sad to be leaving Calgary, insisting that he enjoyed living and playing there. He explained why he choose the Panthers, saying he was drawn to their competitiveness and their prospects for success in the future.

CALGARY SUN: Flames general manager Brad Treliving said the offer he received from the Florida Panthers for Matthew Tkachuk was the best deal available “by a long shot.”

Treliving made the trade after Tkachuk informed the Flames that he wasn’t interested in signing a long-term contract. Huberdeau and Weegar are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

The Flames GM said it was important for everyone to take a breather after everything that’s happened before moving on to the next round of challenges. That includes attempting to re-sign Huberdeau and Weegar.

Treliving also he was “pissed off” about the media narrative that suggests Calgary isn’t a good place to live and play for NHL players. He praised the community and defended his club, insisting that it will be competing every year to be a Stanley Cup contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tkachuk was a restricted free agent and within his rights under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement to determine where he wanted to play. Informing the Flames that he wouldn’t sign beyond the coming season gave him considerable leverage to force a trade wherever he wanted to go.

Treliving got the best deal he could under the circumstances. In the short term, it should keep the Flames competitive for 2022-23 despite the absence of Gaudreau. Whether it works out over the long term depends on whether Huberdeau and Weegar are willing to sign contract extensions.

NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings signed forwards Gabriel Vilardi and Jaret Anderson-Dolan to contract extensions. Vilardi’s is a one-year, one-way deal worth an annual average value of $825K. Anderson-Dolan’s is a one-year, two-way deal worth $750K at the NHL level.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins signed center Jack Studnicka to a two-year, two-way contract extension with an average annual salary of $762,500 at the NHL level.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed defenseman Will Butcher to a one-year, two-way deal worth an AAV of $750K.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks recently announced new initiatives to help educate the public about the cultures of Native peoples.


  1. Treliving’s time is limited I’ll be surprised if he makes it past the year, meantime in beantown not creature was stirring and the deer and the antelope play, (Will not respond to Mr B and his underling.)

    • Sweeney too. Lmao

    • Treliving is not going anywhere.

    • Treliving did the best he could under the circumstances. As his team was a contender, he really couldn’t trade Gaudreau at the deadline. At the time, there was still hope of signing him long term. Even if not, keeping him for a possible Cup run was the right decision.
      Obviously, with Tkachuk indicating his desire to leave, he had to be traded. But Treliving got a better deal than anyone thought possible.

      • If I’m a Flames fan, I could care less about Tkachuk’s so-called explanation. What I want to know is how quickly can we sign Huberdeau and Weegar?

    • Rick…. No comment re Sweeney re-upping Studz?

      Tre win that trade… had no control re Johnny hockey leaving…. What would make you believe Tre’s Flames’ life is over soon?

  2. It’ll likely take some time before the dust settles on the Calgary end of that trade, especially if Huberdeau and Weegar are in no hurry to sign new contracts. But even if things develop that way, Treliving now has the potential to add even more in the way of younger, long-term talent if, at some point, it becomes necessary to move Huberdeau and Weegar.

    In that deal they also got a nice prospect in big C Cole Schwindt and a 2025 1st round pick.

    If they DO sign new deals in Calgary, there will need to be some movement elsewhere on the D complement, since they now have 10. So, depending on who gets moved, the end result could be more incoming young talent at other positions, since a LOT of teams are constantly trying to shore up their D.

    • Flames top 6 D and their goalie keep them in the hunt in the Pacific. They are heavy on RHD

    • Yes, going to be interesting George, Treliving going to be busy.
      Read a report that JH, wasn’t happy about how this went down and that he never received an extension offer. Kind of surprising? Or perhaps just further down the to do list. I dunno, but would seem like a priority to me.

      • There was a report yesterday from a credible source, can’t recall who, that Huberdeau and the Flames had, indeed, discussed an extension. Doesn’t say how far they got.

    • George

      Treliving Hit the trade out of the park. Even if he ends up moving both guys. Will get a bunch of new talent or pics for sure. That will get him fired per RWM. 🤔

      • Concur fully MB4

        Fair odds that he can re-up one of Weegar or Hoobie; and has prospect and 1st…. For a player that told him he was not re-upping…. So he could have been forced to keep him 22/23…. and then move him @ TDL …. for a 1st and prospect (which they got anyway)

        Tre could move both Hoobie and Weegar right now for a combined (2 separate teams) 2 extra 1sts

        With that scenario… Flames could sign Kadri … basically flipping MT for Kadri (at a lower cap hit than MT got) and net 3 1sts and a prospect

        Tre did great on this deal

        At the very least…. He gets a full year of Hoobie and Weegar; and a 1st and a prospect

        The only way he loses this deal…. Both Hoobie and Weegar get injured and miss most of season; AND prospect is a bust ….. what’s the odds of all 3 of those happening?

    • Agreed George. Even if both decided not to sign and got moved. Hubby would be one of the better rentals in years. Your 1st top prospect roster player type of return. Weeger depends on season. Could be a first or maybe second plus prospect. So they could end up worst case with 1-2 1sts in 23. A 25 1st. Multiple prospects and a young roster player.

    • In the real nightmare scenario, Calgary plays just fine, they go into the playoffs with Weegar and Huberdeau as their own rentals and lose them for nothing.

      Now they lose Tkachuck, essentially for a prospect and a 1st. After already losing Gaudreau for nothing.

      People keep talking like Treliving walked away the winner. Don’t see that happening without extending both of these players. And even then…

      People also seem cautious about Tkachuk’s career year at 24, but seem to be ignoring Huberdeau’s career year at 29 in a year a lot of players put up bizarre numbers.

      So even if they extend Huberdeau at 30 years old, I’m not sure if his is a win for Calgary. He’s averaged a little over 60 points per season. Only eclipsing that 60’s point total 3 times in his career. Does anyone see him being a better player with Lindholm than he was with Barkov?

      • Captain, you say Huberdeau has only eclipsed 60 points 3 times? And has averaged a little over 60 points per season? Where are you getting that information? He’s actually topped 60 points in each of the last 5 seasons, including the two Covid shortened seasons. And has averaged 75 points per 82 games over the course of his career.

      • I said 60’s. Not 60. I’m getting that information from his stats.

        This year he had 115, ( 3 over 60s)
        last year 61,
        in 19-20 he had 78 (2 over 60’s)
        18-19 he had 92 (1 over 60’s) 17-18 he had 69,
        16-17 he had 26,
        15-16 he had 59,
        14-15 he had 54
        13-14 he had 28
        12-13 he had 31

        So as I’ve stated, he’s been pretty much a mid 60s per season guy. Even if you take off his first partial NHL season, he’s averaged 68 per. With his first partial season, 61.

        Are we counting games he didn’t play and points he “could have amassed “? If that’s the case, add on 300 points for Stamkos , Malkins etc careers.

        But that’s not how stats work.

        I find it a little bizarre that he nearly doubled his career numbers this year. And again, playing with Barkov. At 29 years old.

        I actually like Lindholm, but he’s not Barkov. And Huberdeau certainly isn’t getting better at 30 in Calgary.

      • Captain, maybe recheck the stats from last year. Huberdeau didnt pay with Barkov as his centre, he played with Bennett as his centre & had a career season. Also we had offered Gaudreau 10.5 mill for 8 years who is going to be 29 shortly. Look at Gaudreaus stats the last 2 years & tell me who you would rather have for the next 7-8 years. Also dont forget year 1 of Huberdeau is $5.9 mill, so if he takes a 7 year deal at 9.5 mill the 8 year average is way lower than Gaudreau’s.Worst case, if Flames falter & cant get a commitment from Huberdeau by the Trade Deadline, at 5.9 mill cap hit & Flames could even absorb some of that, he could be the most sought after rental to hit the market in years. I honestly dont think Murray Edwards will allow Treliving to let another franchise type player walk for free. Wont happen. Would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the meeting between him & Treliving after Edwards stepped in & upped the offer to Gaudreau to 10.5% to see him leave for a lot less money elsewhere. Treliving hit a homerun here for the franchise which will save him his last year on his contract. What happens after that depends on how things go down in the near future.

  3. I think Treviling used the honor system in dealing with Gaudreau respecting the player’s right to not talk contact until end of season and assuming moving “heaven and earth” and giving money and term with an extra year would logically make a player stay.

    What Gaudreau did was the same thing Tavares did: leading the girlfriend into thinking there’s a possibility of a marriage when you know it ain’t ever gonna happen.

    I get it that everyone wants to gain leverage and clubs often benefit from paying lower salaries for younger players but times have changed from decades ago when clubs benefited from cheaper salaries during player prime years. Players are well paid now Prior to and into their prime. In my opinion it’s very selfish to lead a team on after collecting a pay cheque from them and not allowing them to get a return on you before you bolt.

    Tkachuk didn’t pull a Tavares/Gaudreau but in hindsight maybe Calgary should have seen it coming in a short term contract Assuming the player wanted that. Regardless I’m thinking this is going to lead GMs to re-evaluate the negotiation process moving forward.

    Locking players in their prime long term or trading them if there’s a scent that they could bolt is where I see things heading.

    • By that analogy the girlfriend took their 18 year old sweet heart and refused to allow them to talk to other girls for close to a decade.

    • Do you have any evidence that Gaudreau ever implied that he intended to resign with Calgary? Isn’t it even remotely possible that he simply played out his contract, considered the offers in front of him (including Calgary’s) and picked the offer that best suited him?

    • These types of options based on nothing really have no place. First, nowhere did we see either player, string along the team that owned their rights of where they can work (play) since they were 18 that either player said that they will be able to work something out and look forward to resigning. What we hear is that they are working on something, period. The public rarely know the internal working of the daily going-on of a private company. They unlike Tkachuck who by his statement sounds like there was some contact with other teams which he, as a Calgary flames contracted player, shouldn’t of been able to do, perhaps with Calgarys permission but what choice did they have once he announced to the world he wasn’t signing. Putting them over the barrow.

      • @Ron Moore

        I believe that there is a window as a RFA for Tkachuk to speak to other teams? This is how the “Offer Sheet” comes into play.

  4. Florida is not a better team after trade but if they couldn’t afford Huberdeau next year than it was the right decision. If Johnathan won’t re up in Calgary probably best to move him now.

    • tkachuk will definitely impact the panthers. brings alot of elements. remains to be seen how he adapts to a new team and what will surely be a completely different atmosphere than calgary. should fit in with barkov, who will be entering his 10th season. but there are still issues with the panthers including bob, duclair on injured reserve, etc.weegar sealed his fate in the dying seconds of the game 2 disaster aginst tampa.

    • Could be the way to go Obe … and if it starts to lean that way, cue the Huberdeau to Montreal chatter. But since Treliving would be dealing from strength so the returns had better include names like – or equivalent to if others jump into the picture – Caufield, Suzuki, Guhle.

      • If JH won’t sign an extension, Treliving won’t necessarily be dealing from a position of strength. His position will be weaker with each passing day. Deadline deals of pending UFAs normally don’t bring in good players in return, only prospects and picks. If the Habs, or any team for that matter, don’t want to pay what Calgary is asking, they’ll just wait till he becomes a UFA. In the Habs current position, they are simply not trading good young players like Suzuki or Caufield for a player nearing birthday number 30. Even a superstar.
        Now that we’ll soon have Huberdeau to the Habs talk to go along with Dubois to the Habs talk, these things normally happen in threes. Can someone please be kind enough to start a rumor that Bergeron wants to play one final season in Montreal before he retires?

      • Could Weeger be a fit in OTT George?

      • Oh, he would definitely be a fit in Ottawa, Ray. I was hoping Dorion would somehow work out a deal with Florida for him before the trade. Now they’ll have to work out something with Calgary IF Treliving even wants to move him now.

        Yesterday, Pengy proposed a deal involving C Shane Pinto, on which I was quick to pour cold water. But on reflection, perhaps a deal involving him is the right way to go. Not sure Treliving would go for it, however.

  5. I guess it’s a matter of time before the oilers will have this problem with mcdavid and Leon do u guys think this is a Canadian thing that the players don’t want play in Canada anymore?

    • No. Giroux had no problem signing here … and DeBrincat and Talbot were quite happy to have been taken in trades by Ottawa. Maybe U.S.-born players have that attitude but, if so, so what? I’m sure if an NHL team ever appeared in Moscow, most Russian-born players would start to examine that option. Or Stockholm. Or Helsinki. Or Berlin. Why not? It’s their home where family resides.

  6. If I was an American player I would rather play in the US who can blame them for wanting to leave. Where will Kadri end up if Calgary lands him that may go along way in signing Huberdeau.