The Ottawa Senators need to focus their attention on reuniting captain Brady Tkachuk with his brother Matthew this offseason. The Senators have the cap space and trade chips to make this move happen, and it should be a no-brainer to help finally complete the rebuild. By uniting the brothers of destruction (I hope this nickname takes off), the Senators would be a force to be reckoned with and a team their fans would be proud to cheer for.
But, why would the Calgary Flames consider this? What would it take to make this happen? Let’s explore.
Matthew Tkachuk The Player
Matthew Tkachuk has been a consistent point producer and top-six forward since arriving in the NHL during the 2016-17 season. He is a world-class agitator that also plays a solid two-way game. He is currently having a career year (during a contract year, we love to see it) with 24 goals and 32 assists in 48 games for the surprising Calgary Flames. He is big, mean, physical, draws penalties, and is the type of player everyone wishes they had on their roster. He is among the top wingers in the NHL and is due for a hefty raise this coming offseason.
Tkachuk has a lot of control over the situation right now, and it is unclear if he wants to remain in Calgary. He is a restricted free agent at the end of the season but is only one year away from unrestricted free agency (UFA). If he decides to go to arbitration, he will get a one-year qualifying offer which would send him straight to UFA status during the summer of 2023.
Losing a player of his caliber for nothing is a risk any general manager would be wise to avoid and if Matthew is unwilling to sign a long-term contract, Calgary general manager (GM) Brad Treliving would have no choice but to explore trade options.
The Flames need to talk to his agent and figure out if they are willing to sign long-term. If not, they need to explore the trade market this summer. He was rumored to be unhappy with his ice-time under Darryl Sutter last season. While losing a player of Tkachuk’s status may not be ideal, the trade packages that you could receive might make it worthwhile. Tkachuk isn’t the only free agent that the Flames need to worry about this offseason with both Johnny Gaudreau and Andrew Mangiapane due for hefty raises.
It will be nearly impossible for Treliving to keep the whole band together, and if Tkachuk doesn’t want to be a long-term Flame, trading him for some high-end prospects could be a great solution for the franchise. It is always difficult luring free agents to Calgary, and trading for high-end prospects is a strong solution.
What can the Senators offer?
The Senators have more than enough prospects and draft picks to entice the Flames to pick up the phone. Here are some of the Senators’ trade chips:
- Jake Sanderson
- Ridly Greig
- Egor Sokolov
- Tyler Boucher
- Roby Jarventie
- Lassi Thomson
- Tyler Kleven
- Shane Pinto
- Plethora of 2022 draft picks
Clearly, the Senators would be able to make the Flames an offer that they couldn’t refuse. The deal could be beneficial for both teams as the Flames would have more young talent and salary cap flexibility while the Senators would become one of most difficult teams to play against in the NHL. Even after locking up Tkachuk to an extension the Senators would still have cap space to play with and could finally become an appealing destination for free agents.
Evil Sedin Twins
Matthew and Brady are clearly very close, spending their summers together and keeping tabs on one another throughout the season. The two could unite and become the most hated duo in NHL history. Two agitators, who are also brothers, playing in a passionate Canadian market would be great for the league. With Brady locked up for another six seasons after this one, it isn’t unreasonable to think that Matthew would sign a long-term deal in the nation’s capital. They will likely have tremendous chemistry with one another and teams around the league certainly would not look forward to playing against Senators. It could be like watching an evil and diabolical version of the Sedin twins, and who wouldn’t want to watch that?
Also, it would be nice for parents Chantal and Keith Tkachuk to focus their attention on one team only. It must be hard keeping up with the Senators and Flames on a nightly basis. The brothers of destruction need to be united, and it might as well be in Ottawa.
When I was a kid my parents got me a t-shirt that said “Eat Sleep Hockey” and this is how I turned out. I’m an NHL obsessed never-was with only the very best takes. All of my opinions are genuine and I’m in constant need of validation. I am covering the Ottawa Senators and follow me on Twitter @Bradleychooo