The likelihood of the Montreal Canadiens being legit NHL trade suitors for disgruntled Calgary Flames restricted free agent Matthew Tkachuk is extremely unlikely.
After Tkachuk made it public Wednesday that he will not resign to stay with the Flames past this coming season, the NHL trade rumour circuit exploded but one rumour that didn’t run rampant, and likely won’t until, as expected the Flames trade the 24-year-old winger that had 42 goals and had 62 assists this past season. Of course though, Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes and executive vice president Jeff Gorton would be crazy to not at least inquire on Tkachuk with Flames general manager Brad Treliving on what it would cost to acquire him on the NHL trade market.
The read here, is it would be maybe more than a King’s ransom given the fact the Canadiens are plush with great young roster players and prospects, something they’d like to maintain for at least another 2-3 years. Montreal Hockey Now called an NHL executive who’s team actually will be an NHL trade suitor for Tkachuk and this is what he said with regards to the Canadiens and Flames hooking up on a Tkachuk trade:
“First of all, I can tell you right away that [Nick] Suzuki, [Cole] Caufield [Juraj] Slafkovsky are non-starters for the Habs,” the source told Montreal Hockey Now. “I’ve also heard the Canadiens not budging on Kaiden Guhle (MHN has heard the same) and that could be holding up the [Pierre-Luc] Dubois trade. So let’s say right away those guys are off limits. Then you’re getting to the [Filip] Mesar’s; the Joshua Roy’s; the Riley Kidney’s, probably Jordan Harris too. Let’s not forget too, the Habs are up against it and need to move guys like [Josh] Anderson and Christian Dvorak’s – and they’re trying – so is Brad taking on those contracts?
I just think with everything the Canadiens are trying to do right now, they would have to switch gears to give Brad what he’s going to ask for. Don’t get me wrong, Tkachuk’s a stud but you got two great young wings now in Slafkovsky and Caufield with so much ahead of them too and you’re building on them and Suzuki. Also, you gotta think Brad wants a 2023 first.”
This executive is right and how about this from Steve MacFarlane of Calgary Hockey Now late Thursday afternoon:
‘National Hockey Now confirmed with an NHL executive source this week that the New Jersey Devils made a play for Tkachuk at the draft, using the second overall pick, a roster player and prospect as bait.’
Whoa! Say what?
That just gives you an idea that no matter how handicapped Treliving may be negotiating a Tkachuk trade after he went public about wanting out, he’s going to try to save as much face on that mistake at the draft – and his job – as he can!
Then factor in Tkachuk’s reported teams that he will sign long-term with and the fact that, only because of his brother Brady, would he consider Ottawa as the only Canadian team, this call could be moot anyhow.
Sorry Canadiens fans but again, it seems highly unlikely that the Canadiens will be players in the Matthew Tkachuk NHL trade sweepstakes.