It appears members of the Calgary Flames organization may hold a similar level of frustration towards Matthew Tkachuk as their fan base does.
While the 24-year-old Tkachuk did not simply walk away from the organization as his former teammate in Johnny Gaudreau did, he essentially forced general manager Brad Treliving into trading him. The American-born winger let it be known that he was not interested in signing a long-term deal with the Flames, and as a result was sent to the Florida Panthers in July. Flames players, management, and the coaching staff were all rather quiet on the matter, that is until Thursday.
Head coach and reigning Jack Adams winner Darryl Sutter took a not-so-subtle shot at his former star when asked about how current Flames forward Tyler Toffoli compares to Tkachuk.
“One guy’s won Stanley Cups and been a big part of long playoff runs,” Sutter said in his short response.
Sutter has always been known for his funny quotes, but it is extremely rare to hear something this candid from him. Although it could simply be a joke, this seemed to be a rather serious jab from the 64-year-old coaching legend.
Toffoli played under Sutter on the Los Angeles Kings for the first five years of his career, winning the Stanley Cup together in 2014. He clearly left a strong impression on the bench boss he reunited with in Alberta last season.
While Calgary did extremely well in the Tkachuk trade – landing Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt and a conditional first-round pick from Florida – these comments from Sutter guarantee Flames-Panthers games will be must-watch TV moving forward. The two sides will first meet up in Florida on Nov. 19, while the second and final meeting will take place in Calgary just 10 days later. You can bet the fans at the Saddledome won’t be giving Tkachuk the warmest welcome in that affair.
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