The Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers agreed to a huge trade on Friday night that saw the teams swap superstars. The Flames dealt young star Matthew Tkachuk to Florida in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt, and a lottery-protected 2025 first-round pick.
— NHL (@NHL) July 23, 2022
Tkachuk, a 24-year-old well-rounded winger, did not want to sign long-term in Calgary after his Flames co-star Johnny Gaudreau left for the Columbus Blue Jackets in free agency. Calgary traded Tkachuk at the peak of his value. As part of what appears to be the first sign-and-trade in NHL history, the Panthers signed Tkachuk to an eight-year contract worth more than $70 million.
Florida gave up a lot for the long-term rights to Tkachuk. Huberdeau finished third in Hart Trophy voting last season and Weegar is an elite puck-moving defenseman. They are both very valuable players, and this past season was the only one up to this point that saw Tkachuk produce elite point totals, which partially stemmed from playing alongside Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm.
Hubderdeau and Weegar will both be unrestricted free agents in 2023, and paying both might have been difficult or unfeasible for Florida. They’ve chosen to instead grab a younger star for the foreseeable future, adding him to a core that includes Aleksandar Barkov and Aaron Ekblad. They will be top contenders in 2022-23.
The trade news has gotten the hockey world talking as it’s not every day a player of Tkachuk’s quality is traded.
Only 2nd time in NHL history that 100-point players have been involved in the same trade. Tkachuk for Huberdeau and Jimmy Carson for Wayne Gretzky in summer of 1988.
Only other five 100-point players dealt in an off-season include Dionne, Rogers, Bullard, Jagr and Gaudreau. #NHL
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) July 23, 2022
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 23, 2022
The crew handed out grades to the massive Matthew Tkachuk trade. Lots of good analysis in here from @domluszczyszyn, @coreypronman, @hayyyshayyy, @seangentille and @hailey_salvian ⬇️https://t.co/F0h94d0FWL pic.twitter.com/GLvuCOz0k8
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) July 23, 2022
The Flames get two very good players in Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar in return (plus). Talk about a spicy trade. pic.twitter.com/wljAyMZjv8
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) July 23, 2022
Ultimately, the Panthers get the best player in the deal when considering long-term potential. But the Flames have managed to remain well positioned for this season, and will have a chance to retain Huberdeau and Weegar after the season (or trade one or both for a big return). It’s a good deal for both teams, with Calgary appearing to have come out on top with all of the value that they’ve acquired.