Latest: An Era Begins: Florida Panthers land Matthew Tkachuk from Calgary


There was nothing like a Friday night news dump like the acquisition of star player Matthew Tkachuk from the Calgary Flames in an epic transaction.

Sunrise. — AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The first tweet about the Tkachuk Sweepstakes, which had been in the works for the past week but had only been made public on Wednesday, appeared shortly after 11 p.m. local time in South Florida.

One of the NHL’s most exciting forwards, Tkachuk, 24, has been added to the Panthers’ top lines and might be a long-term partner for Sasha Barkov.


Eight years, to be exact.

Barkov’s new eight-year, $80 million contract and Tkachuk’s new eight-year, $76 million contract with the Panthers both go into effect at the start of this season.

General Manager Bill Zito has reiterated hundreds of times that the Panthers are willing to improve in whatever way possible, despite the fact that many Panthers supporters are upset about losing Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar.


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They were going to lose either Huberdeau or Weegar at the end of the season, regardless of whether they signed him or not.

The Panthers’ salary limit restrictions prevent them from signing either player to a new deal worth the money they expect to make on their current contracts.


Because of this, the Panthers chose to pay Tkachuk the money Huberdeau was going to receive, a powerful skater who can score from everywhere on the ice and who is also around five years younger than Huberdeau.

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That isn’t a significant concern right now, but it will get worse when the contract he signed with the Florida Panthers ages.

Until Huberdeau is 30, a seven-year, $9.5-million contract with the Panthers makes no sense. By the end of the fourth year, Huberdeau would have reached the age of thirty-four.


Tampa Bay has Tkachuk under contract through the end of his prime NHL years.

At the age of 24, he joined Huberdeau on the second team of the NHL’s all-stars with 42 goals for the Calgary Flames.

Tkachuk is currently in the midst of one of his best years.


The Panthers are eager to take advantage of everything he has to offer.

Is Matthew Tkachuk available to the Florida Panthers? UPDATE: YES, Zito did part with a significant amount of value in the exchange.

Huberdeau, Weegar, Schwindt, and Florida’s first-round pick in 2025 are all moving to Calgary, along with prospect Cole Schwindt.


The Panthers’ lack of a first-round draft pick for the next three years isn’t as bad as the defensive void Weegar’s departure will leave.

Perhaps there’s something else in store for Florida. We shall see.

Tkachuk’s contract has one element that no one is arguing about.


It’s a lot of money, but it should be fine as the wage ceiling rises over the next few years and the NHL emerges from the Covid shadow.

Sunrise has a great group of young attackers, and Tkachuk is one of the greatest young players in the league.

With Tkachuk’s versatility, new coach Paul Maurice has a wide range of alternatives for his top lines.


Do you want Barkov to be sandwiched between Carter Verhaeghe and Tkachuk? Cool.

Tkachuk alongside Sam Reinhart and Barkov would be interesting. It’s up to you.

NHL players are flocking to the Sunshine State, and it’s not just for the beaches and golf courses. Zito is doing everything he can to make it all work for the players.


To say goodbye to guys like MacKenzie Weegar and Jonathan Huberdeau may be difficult, but welcoming Matthew Tkachuk should be a pleasant surprise.

Folks, you’re looking at the real deal here.


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