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Matthew Tkachuk Would Have Been Perfect for Flyers; Instead, Florida Lands LW

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Matthew Tkachuk, Philadelphia Flyers
Left winger Matthew Tkachuk, who had 42 goals last season, is just 24 and would have been the perfect player for the Flyers to build around.

The Philadelphia Flyers still need a star player to build around and draw fans.

Matthew Tkachuk would have been the perfect player to fit that description.

Ah, but Florida swooped in and acquired the 6-foot-2, 202-pound left winger late Friday night in a mega-deal with Calgary.

The Panthers traded high-scoring left winger Jonathan Huberdeau, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, AHL forward Cole Schwindt and a lottery-protected 2025 No. 1 draft pick to Calgary for Tkachuk and a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2025.

Nice haul, if …

Calgary got a nice haul — if it can re-sign Huberdeau, 29, and Weegar, 28, each of whom can become unrestricted free agents after the upcoming season.

Tkachuk may not have been willing to sign a long-term deal with the Flyers like he did with the Panthers — eight years, with an annual $9.5 million cap hit.

Earlier this month, left winger Alex DeBrincat was available. But he got traded from Chicago to Ottawa for first- (seventh overall) and second-round (39th overall) picks this year, and a 2024 third-rounder.

The Flyers should have offered more, but only if they could have signed the 24-year-old DeBrincat to a long-term deal. Maybe GM Chuck Fletcher tried and was nixed. Maybe.

DeBrincat has one year left on a contract that carries a $6.4 million cap hit.

Johnny Gaudreau is another star left winger who was available. But he signed a seven-year deal with Columbus — Columbus! – with an annual $9.75 million cap hit.

Fletcher should have cleared enough cap space and matched that offer because Gaudreau, who turns 29 next month, is a six-time All-Star who wanted to come home to Philly.

And then another left winger who would have fit on the Philadelphia Flyers better than DeBrincat or Gaudreau  — Tkachuk — became available.

But the Flyers came up empty there, too.

Again, maybe Tkachuk wouldn’t have signed an extension here, so it’s not like the Gaudreau situation.

Still, Flyers fans are balking because other teams continue to make bold moves this summer, while Philly has done little.

Tkachuk is not only a scorer (42 goals, 104 points last season), but he plays with an edge. The Flyers need help in both of those areas. Significantly.

Oh, and he’s only 24.

Devils make pitch

National Hockey Now confirmed with an NHL executive this week that the Devils offered Calgary the second overall pick in the recent draft, a roster player, and a prospect for Tkachuk.

Calgary rejected the offer. The Flames then got a better package from the Panthers.

Could the Philadelphia Flyers have matched  or topped it?

It depends on whether Huberdeau and Weegar re-sign or become UFAs and head elsewhere in one season. The Flyers could have offered players who are on long-term deals.

Wait. The Flyers have no cap space. So how could they have fit Tkachuk onto their roster?

Here’s how …

A few hours before the trade went down, I had finished a column urging Fletcher to go after Tkachuk. The story was scheduled to run early Saturday morning.

Then the trade happened. “Call rewrite!” as they used to say during the days of copy boys, typewriters, and a “-30-” symbol to signify the end of a story.

Anyway, I proposed the Flyers offer defenseman Ivan Provorov ($6.75 million cap hit) and right winger Travis Konecny ($5.5 million) for Tkachuk — assuming they could sign him to a long-term deal with, say, a $9.5 million annual cap hit. (Which is just what Florida did.)

Konecny and Provorov are each signed for three more  seasons.

At the very least, offering Provorov and Konecny  would have been a good starting point, and a future Flyers No. 1 draft pick (but not the one in the deep 2023 draft) could have been included if Calgary added a young defenseman who was NHL-ready.

There are no guarantees the Flames would have taken that offer over Florida’s. But here’s hoping Fletcher was at least pitching some proposal.

Provorov is a good player who has a chance to be an All Star someday. Konecny is a second-line type with 25-goal potential.

Tkachuk is a budding superstar, the perfect player to build a young team around.

Now Florida, which has plenty of other talent, can do just that.

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John H

Tkachuk Will be ready to retire by the time the Flyers are ready to utilize Tkachuk in a playoff run.
Glad they didn’t sign Johnny G, the Flyers are more than 1 or 2 pieces away from being a cup contender.

SpectrumSection51

Absolutely would have been a great acquisition and the trade you proposed is reasonable. Don’t the Flyers also have Florida’s first round pick in the 2023 draft from the Giroux trade? That one could have been offered while holding our own pick. Maybe Fletcher is trying but I was hoping for more ingenuity.

Sam Carchidi

Flyers acquired Florida’s top pick in 2024, not 2023.

Wab

Hey Sam Another example of previous mismanagement of team assets and the salary cap that prevents the flyers when an opportunity presents itself to be able to bid on a difference maker. Tkaczuk is a difference maker similar to when Eric Lindros was traded for many years ago.Nice Job Fletcher 🤷‍♂️

R M

It remains truly amazing how incompetent Fletcher is as this sorry franchise’s GM. He probably is the worst GM in all of professional sports, yet retains his job. Nero fiddling as Rome burns. Sam, if the Flames would have taken that trade, we do it every day. But heck, if they wanted more than Konecny and Prov, sure give them more. Not any future Flyers first round pick, but sure, the Florida first round pick in 2024, why not? Or throw in Brink, or Frost, or Farabee (who may have to retire early, or should, after that surgery he went through) or anyone not named Hart or Gauthier. Tkachuk is what Lindros was. You overpay. You give the kid over $10 mil per year for ten years. Heck give him $11 mi per. No brainer. Fletcher is just so awful in his job. When will Comcast fire him? Who is Dave Scott’s boss? Scott is allowing this garbage GM work to continue. Abdication of his responsibilities. Absolutely incredibly bad GM work.

BigLeftHandie

Dude, you can’t sign a player for 10 years anymore. Get with it if you’re going to criticize. Players can only sign a contract for up to seven years. If they re-sign with their current team, the maximum length is eight years which can result in possible sign-and-trade deals. The salary cap in the NHL is 81.5 million dollars. So if a team was to sign a player today the maximum contract that they can be signed for is 20% of $81.5 million or $16.3 million per year.

R M

What are you, a CPA? You missed the point of the comment, Moron.

Michael Vimes

The point of your comment was to just bitch and moan about Fletcher. You obviously don’t know anything about hockey. Stick with your sports talk radio.

Michael Vimes

You are talking silly. You would only try to sign these guys if we were close to being competitive, we are not.

Dan

Please. Tkachuk got traded for two players who are so much better than Provorov and Konecny that its laughable. There isn’t a universe where the Flyers could have offered a package that even came close to what Florida gave up.

Joenardonesson

Sam, can you please stop with this crazy agenda that includes the flyers signing JG? Anyone with even a modicum of hockey sense knows that is ridiculous. The flyers are not a good team and won’t be for a while. Why sign a 29 year old winger for 70 mill who’s contract will be a boat anchor by the time we are relevant again? Fast forward 4 or 5 years and writers like you will be crying about asset mismanagement because of the term. It’s the epitome of hypocrisy to complain about their current cap situation and then in the same breath cry they can’t sign JG. A decision to sign him is exactly the kind of reason we are in cap hell in the first place. Btw who gives a crap where he is from and what team he said he wanted to play for? Did he offer the flyers are major home town discount? If so what’s the number? Until you as a reporter can explain to me exactly what that number is all this childish crying and complaining comes off as kinda uneducated and lazy dribble.

R M

Exactly Sam. Must be a Flyers / Fletcher Troll. Keep the articles coming Sam. Your perspective is spot on.

BigLeftHandie

Sam, you are the eternal optimist. Provorov, Konecny & a future No. 1 draft pick are even enough to match what Florida offered as a starting point let alone talking about Calgary throwing in another player. Florida gave up A LOT. They gave up two upper tier starters with successful track records. Unfortunately, until Pro and Kon show more leadership, development, and consistency they are only 2nd-tier level players at this point.

R M

Not when you consider the Florida pieces will be UFAs and the Philly proposal Same mentions are not. Hey BigLeftHandle, is it your fault or your parents?

BigLeftHandie

The “plan” is obviously NOT a “retool.” This is now headed into “wait and see what we have this year because somehow it will be different than last year” and THEN and ONLY then we will REBUILD = this is going to be a lousy year, Fletcher lied, Scott is clueless, and Torts should be gone by Feb.

R M

Finally a coherent comment from you.

Rigged 2020

This team when healthy with Torts will have 85 to 90 pts

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