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Flames Players Growing Frustrated with Tkachuk’s Antics

Apparently, Matthew Tkachuk’s teammates are starting to get annoyed by his antics and it’s affecting the locker room.

A 3-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs will quiet the issues down a touch, but recent reports suggest that things inside the Calgary Flames locker room are a bit tense. This is not just because the team hasn’t been winning, or due to Sam Bennett’s public trade request, but because many of the players have grown tired of Matthew Tkachuk’s constant need to draw negative attention to himself.

Related: Can Flames’ David Rittich Carry the Load for an Injured Jacob Markstrom?

On his most recent 31 Thoughts podcast, Sportsnet NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reports that things sort of came to a head after Tkachuk’s “puck flipping incident” with Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin. He called it a breaking point for the team and that Tkachuk was told the players were not cool with what he was doing night in and night out. In other words, they were turned off by his antics and let him know about it.

Interestingly, Tkachuk is frustrated too. Not just with losing, but because he doesn’t understand why his teammates want him to try and be less of a factor on the ice.

Friedman says:

“I think Tkachuk was really frustrated by what happened. That whole puck flipping thing led to a meeting that I think just sent them sideways. I think Tkachuk feels that some of the players didn’t want him to create something every game and I think he’s confused by that. I think he understands only how to play the game a certain way and I think he’s questioning it now. “

It’s an interesting situation for the team to be in. Here you have a player trying his best to get the team motivated and playing hard, but he often crosses the line. Sometimes, he wanders into spaces where he looks ridiculous and it’s embarrassing for the team to have to stand up for a player clearly in the wrong.

Matthew Tkachuk Calgary Flames
Matthew Tkachuk Calgary Flames NHL

Will the Team Move Those Who Have the Biggest Issue?

What will be interesting to see is who wins out here. It would be hard to imagine the Flames actually asking Tkachuk to tone it down and they certainly aren’t going to be eager to trade him. That means, for players who have the biggest issue with what he does, how long will they last?

The team is already rumored to be looking to make deals and one would assume if there are players extremely unhappy about playing with Tkachuk, they might welcome a move.

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