NHL Commodity Grades: Panthers Get Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk for Huberdeau, Vigar and More


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Panthers get: Forward Matvey Tkachuk and conditional choice in the fourth round

Flame gets: Forward Jonathan Huberdeau, defenseman Mackenzie Vigar, forward Cole Schwindt and a conditional 2025 first-round pick.

House Lushchishin: Wow.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

It’s a blockbuster in every sense of the word, featuring two absolute superstars.

We’ve been told all year that Jonathan Huberdeau was an MVP candidate, but it took a few additions to make him a worthy MVP candidate: Matthew Tkachuk.

We can argue all day about which player is worth more, but the fact of the matter is that Tkachuk is younger and has a more complete game – it makes sense that Florida would like to see him in their future.

At the same time, Huberdo A PLUS Mackenzie Vigar is too far. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that Tkachuk is a more valuable asset (especially in terms of contract terms), but adding a legitimate top pair defender is absolutely wild. Calgary, without any leverage, has been incredibly successful here, given the circumstances. Yes, both Huberdeau and Vigar have a year left before unrestricted free will (UFA), but together they are more valuable than Tkachuk alone. Tkachuk’s extension helps, of course, but wow. It’s a lot.

This speaks to the value that the league shares in all three – Tkachuk, Huberdeau and Vigar. But in the end, Florida got a powerful superstar forward for eight years, and Calgary got two outstanding players. They both succeeded depending on how you look at it.

Calgary class: A+
Florida grade: B

Corey Pronman: Huberdeau was one of the best hitters in the NHL last season. He is a player with elite skills, creativity and vision who can power play the best of them. He is a competitive forward whose only real flaws are the lack of a dangerous top gear and not being overly physical. I don’t think Florida was 100 percent sure they could re-sign Huberdeau, although it was very likely. He was also a big disappointment in last season’s playoffs.

Vigar did very well in Florida after being drafted mid-round. He is a very intelligent puck player with high agility and high motor skills. He is a true top-level defender who, like Huberdeau, is under consideration by the UFA in 2023.

Cole Schwindt is a big forward with some skill and ability to score, as well as great puck handling. His skating is a big limitation for him. He’s been attacking a lot this season in the AHL, given he didn’t have time for powerplay. He has a good chance of being in the top six of the worst forwards.

Tkachuk is one of the best young stars in the league. He is an extremely skilled and creative winger who also has an elite work rate. He is great in the net, wins a lot of fights and has the advantage in the game. His only negative is the lack of a real dangerous speed for the NHL, and everything else in his game is the highest echelon. He has a game that works very well in the playoffs too.

Such a huge part of the value of this deal will be Calgary’s ability to get an extension for one or both of Hubderdo and Vigar. If they succeed, they will once again be a top NHL team for a few years, adding two top NHL players after losing two in Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau. If they don’t, they go back to where they started. For the sake of this article, I’m assuming they may develop extensions for at least one of their two new Canadian stars.

Florida will take care of unresolved UVA situations for Huberdeau and Vigar, where they are unlikely to sign both, and can turn him into a reliable, young elite forward. In doing so, they move another first round pick (next time you’ll see the Panthers on the first round podium in 2025 or 2026), but they’re clearly all-in with this core of players and still look like the Stanley Cup. . contender for next season.

Today, Calgary has improved its team more than Florida. In the long run, Florida has likely improved their club even more while remaining relevant as a contender.

It is one of the most exciting jobs of the pay cap era and will be analyzed for years to come. Points to both clubs for creativity and courage.

Calgary Flames: BUT-
Florida Panthers: B+

Shaina Goldman: I’m really trying to wrap my brain around this. I expected Tkachuk to be changed, but in St. Louis or Dallas. Even Vegas seemed possible because the Golden Knights are always buying and then dumping players to clear the limit. But Florida! Hello!

The Panthers saw their all-in moves at the deadline and somehow raised it. They bring in an elite winger – rightfully one of the best in the league – and extend it for eight years. The Panthers keep their forward group with a player who gives them a lot of value in the short and long term in Tkachuk. So they are clearly leaving with this victory. However, the Panthers have lost a lot here and are running out of assets to deal with the rest of the Florida roster.

The first question I had was what would happen to Huberdeau and his next deal in a year. Well, that leaves him in Calgary!

The Flames are apparently hell-bent on staying in the playoffs after losing two of their best hitters. Now Calgary has another elite passer. as well as high quality defender. The fact that the first is not exactly a solid defender should be in order in the Flames system. If they can’t expand Huberdo it will be risky as they could probably add players with more confidence elsewhere. But since he’s not the only asset here, that makes him that much more attractive. Instead, it’s Vigar, a first-round pick and prospect – an absolute win for the Flames when they didn’t have as much influence after it was determined that Tkachuk’s time on the team would be limited.

Calgary class: BUT
Florida grade: B+

Sean Gentil: Over the past few days, we have written thousands of words here about the future of Tkachuk. Thousands more, which were supposed to launch on Saturday morning, had to be disposed of. Not once – not from me, not from Dom, not from Hayley Salvian, not from Jeremy Rutherford, pick a name from the hat – has anyone tied together “Maybe Brad Treliving can win this deal.”

And yet, here we are, in the middle of the night. Turns out Treliving could win the deal. Turns out Treliving won the deal. There is a rule of thumb: whoever plays the best wins the advantage. Rules are made to be broken. Tkachuk is better than Uberdo. Tkachuk is better than Vigar. Tkachuk is better than Schwindt. Tkachuk is definitely better than the conditional pick in the first round.

But Tkachuk is no better than a full Flames comeback. And to be honest, it might not be that close. This does not mean that Florida has lost here; Tkachuk immediately signed up for less than he could have gotten on the open market for the remainder of his heyday. This, of course, does not mean that Tkachuk lost; he’s on the best team, in the state with no income tax. The signing of Huberdeau and Vigar was no lock, especially given Florida’s (previous) lockdown situation. Tkachuk is signed, sealed and delivered until he is 30 years old.

And dubbing Calgary is not without problems; Huberdeau, no matter how productive he may be, is not a full-fledged player on a par with Tkachuk. He will move to the UFA after next season, and whether he will stay is an open, very important question. The same goes for Vigar, but facts are facts. Huberdeau is an elite first line player. Vigar is the guy from the first couple. The risk of losing them is worth it for you to sign both, especially for Treliving, which was, shall we say, on the brink of failure. Unreal work. Gambling worth going to. Calgary somehow still has to be a playoff team.

Calgary class: A+
Florida grade: B+

Hayley Salvian: This week, Brad Treliving found himself in the unenviable position of trying to win a deal with a player like Tkachuk walking out the door. But he may have just done it, at least in the short term. Yes, he will need to try to keep Huberdeau and Vigar (two UFAs next summer), but with his hands tied and little leverage on Tkachuk, he came out and brought in a legitimate MVP candidate and a top-pair defenseman. Not that anyone has forgotten, but this offseason, the Flames also lost Johnny Gaudreau, who finished second in the league in scoring, tied with… Huberdeau. It’s a Tkachuk trade, but if the Flames were looking for a point guard, scoring winger to fill a hole on the left, they got him.

Huberdo can run a show in Calgary. His defensive performance isn’t great, but Calgary coach Darryl Sutter has helped in this area before and he should be able to do it again. On defense, the Flames, under Sutter, pride themselves on the fact that they have few chances and are difficult to play against. The addition of a solid two-way defender in Vigar should only help with that identity. Not to mention, strengthening the blue line should have been a priority this off-season after a terrible run without Chris Tanev in the second round against Edmonton, but that need has taken a back seat to Gaudreau and Tkachuk.

This deal should give Calgary at least one more year to try and fight the core formed around Huberdeau, Vigar, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapain and Jacob Markstrom, to name but a few. And if contract negotiations or the season don’t go well, maybe they’ll try to flip one (or two) of them in time to get even more assets in the Tkachuk trade tree. The insidious part of this to look out for is any minor moves the Flames can make to grab more assets by sending in one of the many left-backs (Noah Honeyfin, Oliver Cylington, Nikita Zadorov, Connor McKee and Juuso Walimaki) to the organization. Contract negotiations leading to arbitration not working out for Kylington? Maybe they can move it to a high peak. Just a thought.

As for Florida, they got the best player for the longest time in this deal. Tkachuk will make the Panthers better and I wouldn’t be shocked if the team had a similar problem when it came to the long-term future of Huberdeau and/or Vigar in Florida.

It’s still early, but it looks like a win-win.

Calgary class: BUT
Florida grade: B+

(Photo by Matthew Tkachuk: Sergei Belsky/USA Today)

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