Now this one may be a little far-fetched, but in reality it could make a ton of sense. There have been some trade rumors circulating the hockey world about Calgary Flames’ power forward Matthew Tkachuk. After all, the Flames did have an underwhelming season which saw them not even hit the playoffs. Because of that, it would make sense that Tkachuk would want out of the organization. For the Pittsburgh Penguins, this could be an amazing opportunity.
Tkachuk’s Career So Far
Tkachuk was drafted sixth overall by the Flames in the 2016 NHL draft. Since then, he’s become a fan favorite and for one huge reason: he’s just flat out entertaining to watch. Tkachuk is one of those players that gets into the dirty zones of the ice. He isn’t afraid to dish out the checks nor is he afraid to drop the gloves. The best part? He can do all of this while putting up the points.
Tkachuk can successfully wear down the opposition’s defense with crushing hits and then turn around and pot some goals. For example, this past season Tkachuk put up a respectable 43 points paired with an astonishing 132 hits. To compare this to a player on the Penguins who is known for physicality, Brandon Tanev had 139 hits but only 16 points.
Because of his physicality and offensive prowess, Tkachuk would be a hot commodity if he requested a trade. Nevertheless, he could still be shipped out of Calgary. The Penguins should make a hard push to acquire him as he could elevate their game to a higher level. However, Calgary’s asking price would be steep so Pittsburgh should be ready to relinquish some assets.
Some Possible Trades
There would be a ton of pieces in a Tkachuk trade. Pittsburgh would unquestioningly have to give up a first round pick and possibly multiple second round picks. The real tough question would be what kind of players does Calgary want in return? They could ask for some NHL-caliber players, or they could go the route of only wanting prospects.
Along with some draft picks, one player that could be involved is Jason Zucker. Zucker has had a tough time in Pittsburgh’s organization, so a change of scenery could be exactly what he needs. Another player could be defenseman Marcus Pettersson. Now, with Pettersson, Pittsburgh would likely have to include more draft picks for Calgary to accept him in a trade, but it’d make sense. With his departure, prospect Pierre-Olivier Joseph could get a full-time starting position.
Now, another player that could be possibly traded is one that would shock the fanbase but it’d get the job done. In a Tkachuk trade, fans could see Evgeni Malkin getting traded. Now, this one is highly unlikely but possible. With this trade, the team would be getting younger and it would allow some prospects to gain some NHL experience. Again, this one is unlikely but possible.
Either way, a trade with the Calgary Flames regarding Matthew Tkachuk would see the departure of some valuable assets. However, Tkachuk would be certainly worth it. He can play incredibly physical while still putting up a respectable amount of points. Should Pittsburgh do it? They should if presented the opportunity.
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