When it came to the Calgary Flames interest level in Jack Eichel, forward Matthew Tkachuk did hear his name in the rumor mill this week. That said, he was surprised and found it hard to believe that the team would be looking to move him.
While it may never be truly revealed if there was talk about such a package including Tkachuk, Sabres’ GM Kevyn Adams did say that rumors surrounding Tkachuk and the Sabres were “not accurate.” He added that names getting out there are the unfortunate part of trade speculation and “That was not correct, in terms of players that were being tossed around.” Going on that information, we’ll assume it was never close, even if that’s not a definitive response that Tkachuk’s name was never brought up. In fact, some reports suggest the Sabres asked and the Flames weren’t interested.
Tkachuk figures it was probably just part of how these trades and rumors surrounding them work. It didn’t affect him too much and he suggested there’s not much you can do except your job and understand hockey is a business. He explained, “I’m sure it’s different for everybody, but I had a hard time believing it was true so I just went about my business like I normally do the night before a game…”
Related: Insider: Matthew Tkachuk Was Offered by Flames in Eichel Trade
Tkachuk did say that Flames GM Brad Treliving did reach out to him but he elected not to talk about what was said in that conversation. He merely responded, “He talked to me about it, but we’ll just keep that between us.” He added, “All good” when asked.
For the Flames now, it will be about making sure Tkachuk knows he’s wanted. On the final year of his current deal, the last thing Calgary needs is to have a player on the roster who thinks the team was willing to move him and jeopardize their hot start to the year for a player who wouldn’t have been added to the lineup for approximately four months.
How Close Were the Flames on Eichel?
Reports on Thursday do note that the Flames were one of the final two teams in the Eichel trade sweepstakes but a number of insiders are suggesting Calgary was a distant second. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman went so far as to say that the Flames were “always in, but were never close.” Apparently, by the time the Flames were listed as one of the final two teams at the one-yard line, it was really only Vegas that got that close.
As for where the Flames look next, Hailey Salvian of The Athletic thinks Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks might be a nice fit. He could be acquired from the Sharks and the Flames wouldn’t need to commit term or big money to land him around the NHL trade deadline. They also wouldn’t have to worry about moving a significant piece off the roster like Tkachuk.
Next: How Golden Knights Will Manage Salary Cap After Eichel Trade
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