Matthew Tkachuk and the Florida Panthers


Last summer, the NHL saw a trade of enormous proportions occurs. Calgary Flames star Matthew Tkachuk was traded to the Florida Panthers. In return, the Panthers sent their own star Jonathan Huberdeau, promising defenseman Mackenzie Weever, Cole Schwindt, and a first-round pick to the Flames.

As per usual, social media immediately overreacted. People claimed Tkachuk was doing it for the money, or just to get out of Calgary. Fans on Twitter mocked him, saying that he “got his bag” but “was never going to win a Stanley Cup.”

At the time of the trade, it seemed like a great deal for Calgary. Not only were they getting Jonathan Huberdeau (a 28-year old star coming off a 30 goal/85 assist season), but Weegar was viewed as a potential steal in the deal as well.

More level-headed fans noted that the trade could be viewed as even value. Calgary was receiving a bundle of assets to further their playoff contention, while the Panthers got a player who could help them elevate over the Lightning.

Looking back at the trade now, the Panthers look like enormous winnersMatthew Tkachuk

Tkachuk’s numbers actually increased from the prior year, from 104 points to 109 points. More importantly, he turned into an absolute weapon in the postseason for the Panthers, as he’s scored 7 goals with 12 assists in 15 games. He’s +12, leading all players in plus/minus. He’s yet to record a game in the minus this postseason (5 games with a +/- of 0). Tkachuk been absolutely electric for the Florida Panthers, and now they’re on the verge of a Stanley Cup Finals appearance.

For the Flames, Huberdeau’s numbers took a nosedive. He recorded only 55 points in 79 games (down from 115 the year prior). It marked his fewest points in a season since the 2016-2017 NHL season (26 points in 31 games). Worse, the Flames actually missed the postseason after making it the prior three seasons with Tkachuk on the roster.

Matthew Tkachuk hasn’t just been elite – he’s been the MAN

He helped the Panthers overcome a 3-1 series deficit against the Boston Bruins to win that series—the same Boston Bruins who had the best regular season in NHL history. Tkachuk tallied 5 goals/6 and assisted in that series. He then tallied 5 points in 5 games as the Panthers blew through the Toronto Maple Leafs. And now, three games into the series (3-0) against the Carolina Hurricanes, he’s tailed not one but two backbreaking overtime goals to put the Panthers in front.

That’s what elite players do. They produce when their team needs them to produce. He’s scored two overtime, game-winning goals (both on the road) of an Eastern Conference Final. That’s legendary stuff right there. And now he’s got the Panthers on the precipice of making a Stanley Cup Final.

Jake Moszkowski is the Senior Sportswriter for, covering the American sports and betting industry. He joined us after a four-year stint in marketing and business development for Simplebet, the sports-betting technology company. Prior to Simplebet and OnlineGamblers, Jake worked in the communications team at sports & talent agency, Octagon. He has extensive experience researching and writing about the four major American sports(NFL, NBA, MLB, & NHL), as well as college sports (CFB, NCAAB, College Tennis) and international sports (ATP, WTA).

Related news

Show all news

Caleb Martin: Eastern Conference Finals, Heat Reach NBA Finals

Caleb Martin’s unlikely ascendance helps propel the Miami Heat past the Boston Celtics to another NBA Finals appearance. Learn more here!


Ja Morant Instagram Gun Incidents and Consequences

Discover the shocking story of Ja Morant, one of the NBA’s brightest young stars, who risked it all for a dangerous social media stunt.


NBA Conference Championships: Rematch of “Bubble Final Four”

Read predictions for the NBA Conference Finals. Will we see a Lakers vs. Celtics classic Finals? Click here and find out!