A lot has happened in Calgary, Alberta this past week, but nothing quite as entertaining as watching one of the best teams in the NHL get beaten last season. Matthew Tkachuk didn’t want to sign a long-term deal in Alberta and was known for being on the trading bloc. This morning he was shipped off to Florida to get back riches that might make Queen Elizabeth II envious.
Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports that the Hurricanes were on Tkachuk’s list of teams he would have been willing to sign an 8-year contract with, and that the Canes themselves worked hard to become the NHL’s greatest unicorn for his skills to win. However, it became incredibly apparent that the Hurricanes had neither the funds nor the cap space to make this work over the long term.
It seems very similar to the organization pushing for every Superstar that comes into the trade market. As the organization’s hunt for a true elite player continues, it makes sense to associate the team with players like Tkachuk, who scored 42 goals and 104 points last season. Carolina needs a true elite scorer and we know it. It means the team are still looking for this big-name newcomer to the squad.
If the Hurricanes ever find the player to become their face of the franchise, it apparently won’t be this year. A relatively young core forward needs to make a step up this year, but he could still be bolstered with the addition of young franchise-changing talent. Where they could get that from I’m not sure. But we know the team wants to keep looking elsewhere.
It’s a good sign that when a player of this quality wants to leave their current team, the Hurricanes seem to be one of the first organizations to champion this player. With Tkachuk they pushed hard, with others before they were chasing. The biggest message I would take from this is that Tkachuk was willing to sign an 8-year contract at Raleigh. That’s what the players think about this team and this city.