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Panthers Matthew Tkachuk Happy Calgary Reunion Will Be Short

Panthers Matthew Tkachuk Happy Calgary Reunion Will Be Short

Matthew Tkachuk has made it clear that from the moment he arrived he has shifted his focus to the Florida Panthers and will be no different when he officially returns to the Calgary Saddledome on Tuesday night to take on his former team.

It doesn’t sound great, Tkachuk said, but I’ve already closed the book on Calgary.

I have to continue. I had some great memories there but it would be unfair to my teammates, the fans and this whole organization that put a lot into this business to get me and it would be unfair to me not to close that book just yet.

Tkachuk already faced his former teammates on November 19 when Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar were celebrated by fans in Sunrise.

The reception for Tkachuk may not be as warm tonight, despite making a name for himself in Calgary, scoring 152 goals and 382 points in six seasons.

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Unlike Huberdeau and Weegar, Tkachuk told the Flames that he would not be signing a long-term deal with them and that they should trade him as soon as possible.

The Panthers jumped all over it.

Many guys have already been traded so I’m sure they all say the same thing. It’s probably weird at first, Tkachuk said before the Flames came to town.

Calgary is the only team I’ve played for. I was there for six years so it was a fair amount of time it will be weird for the first shift or just to see the guys but after that it’s back to business.

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Whatever weirdness there was in Sunrise, Tkachuk can expect something similar.

Huberdeau and Weegar had their weird homecoming and had to follow teammates into the visiting room and now it’s time for Tkachuk.

It will feel the same as when I first played them [in Florida]Tkachuk said.

It will be weird for the first bit of the game, but after that it’s pretty normal.

Tkachuk says it’s great that the Panthers roll in and out of town.

After Monday night’s loss in Edmonton, where he was heavily booed during the warmup and after scoring the opening goal, Tkachuk and the Panthers will not skate or train in Calgary on Tuesday.

It’s the game and go.

We’re back-to-back there, which I honestly prefer, Tkachuk said.

I would rather just be in and out, especially for the first time, to avoid distractions and things outside of the game. But hopefully we’ll get a few days there in a year or two so I can show some of my new teammates my old spots.

Tkachuk had a lot of time to wrap up his Flames tenure a bit as he was the one asking to be traded.

He gave the Flames a list of teams that the Panthers topped and knew a trade would eventually come.

The same could not be said of the star players who left for Calgary.

It was definitely a wild week, but after it happened, everything calmed down. I felt right at home and it was incredible how quickly I was able to fit into his group, Tkachuk said.

I came fairly early in the year, which helped. The guys have been amazing, teammates, coaches and literally everyone has made me feel right at home from the start and I think that’s what led me to feel better than I did on the ice.

That good feeling on the ice has translated into a team-leading 29 points, a mark that ranks seventh in the NHL and first among players who switched teams in the off-season.

He’s a brilliantly talented man, said Panthers coach Paul Maurice.

His hands are elite. They are not what you normally see on a highly educated man. It’s usually perimeter guys or it’s an awful lot of passes that you enjoy or a blistering spot along the wing. He has one of those unusual sets of hands within two or three feet of the net and gets his stick for everything.



  • When:Tuesday, 9 p.m
  • Where:The Saddle Dome; Calgary, Alberta
  • TV:Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio:WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers radio streaming:Sirius XM 932
  • Season Series (Calgary leads 1-0): Flames 5, Panthers 4 SO (November 19)
  • Last season:Divided 1-1
  • All-time regular season series:Calgary leads 23-11-3, 3 ties




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