Treliving says Tkachuk trade ‘had nothing to do’ with Gaudreau loss

Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving says Friday’s blockbuster trade that sent forward Matthew Tkachuk to Florida “had nothing to do” with the recent departure of linemate Johnny Gaudreau.

The trade saw the Panthers acquire not only Tkachuk but also a conditional fourth-round pick from Calgary, while the Flames received forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Cole Schwindt, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar and the 2025 first-round pick protected by Panthers lottery.

Speaking to the media on Saturday noon, Treliving said he was told by Tkachuk’s agent last weekend that the 24-year-old had “no appetite” to sign the Flames long-term.

“Being a long-term Calgary Flame was not in his plans,” Treliving said.

Treliving said he would let Tkachuk talk about his reasons for wanting to leave, but he enjoyed his time in Calgary “very much” and that his departure was not related to Gaudreau.

“Matthew’s decision was not tied to Johnny’s in any way,” he said.

“The players have made decisions, they have every right to make those decisions. We deal with them when they come up.”

“The ownership of this organization, the management team here, did everything they could to get these players to sign and stay. They chose what they didn’t want, there’s not much you can do about it, so move on.”

Tkachuk gave the Flames a list of teams he would be willing to sign a long-term contract with.

Treliving says he appreciated that both Tkachuk and his agent showed a “willingness” to work with the Flames.

“I want to thank Matthew,” Treliving said. “I have a strong relationship with Matthew. We drafted him as an 18-year-old, watched him grow in this organization. He’s been a special guy for this organization.

“He made the decision to move on, I appreciate his honesty.

“He chose the path to go down, and we had to facilitate it as best we could.”

Treliving went on to say that both Calgary and the Flames as an organization have “taken some body shots” over the last week.

“A lot has been written and discussed,” he said. “Frankly, it bothers me. This is a wonderful community. I think anyone who lives here is privileged to live in a wonderful community. We have a team that I thought was the best team in the league, competing to be a Cup champion. Stanley and we will continue to do so.

“People have the right to pick and choose where they want to go and where they don’t want to go, but as a community, as an organization, we don’t have to apologize for anything.

“We’re proud of who we are, we’re proud of the community we work and live in, and the people who work and play here are tremendously proud to live here, work and play for the organization.”

Tkachuk, born in Arizona but raised in St. Louis, recorded 152 goals and 382 points in 431 regular-season games with Calgary. Selected sixth overall in the 2016 NHL draft, Tkachuk added seven goals and eight assists in 27 postseason appearances.


JOHNNY GAUDREAU VS. JONATHAN HUBERDEAU

Treliving says the 29-year-old Huberdeau is a dynamic, competitive, elite player who has the ability to make other players around him better.

“We added a top-tier striker to our team.”

Huberdeau had a career-high 115 points last season, including an NHL-best 85 assists. He has appeared in 671 career games with Florida, registering 198 goals and 415 assists.

Comparing Huberdeau to Gaudreau, Treliving says that both are “terrific record distributors.”

“I think (there are) a lot of similarities in terms of their game. Certainly there are some differences in terms of their size. Johnathan kills penalties and he really took on a bigger role in doing it last year and he was successful at that. At the end of the day, you’re talking about two very high-level players, tied for second in the league in points. That’s a rarity. They’re both special players.”


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