Training camps are *checks notes* less than a month away and we find ourselves legitimately wondering if this NHL season will begin with several of the best wingers in the world on the sidelines.
It’s truly a wild scene out there right now.
Mitch Marner, Brayden Point, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Brock Boeser, Mikko Rantanen and Matthew Tkachuk all remain without contracts as we enter the final days of August. The latter’s agent, Don Meehan, provided an update on Tkachuk at the Serge Savard Golf Tournament on Monday afternoon, and the vibe I’m getting is that this thing could drag on for a while.
“We took an approach where we would be really proactive and progressive with Calgary,” Meehan told TVA Sports.
Meehan claims that the whole Mitch Marner narrative — one that suggests teams and players are waiting for him to sign to set the market — is a non-factor here and that Tkachuk’s negotiations in particular have to do with the player himself and his track record, and not his peers or comparables.
“We started early and we set a position, we really didn’t have to wait. We formulated a position that we thought would be fair and we gave that to Calgary probably [in] the early part of June.
“We’re involved in negotiations right now but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a waiting game. We’ve made a decision in terms of what we think is fair and relevant for the player and we’re working with Calgary now,” Meehan said.
The Canadiens’ offer sheet to another elite winger earlier in the summer also played a factor in establishing (or affirming) Tkachuk’s market value, according to Meehan.
“We decided that we would initiate the process with Calgary and we did it early, and I think we are happy that we did. Of course, we saw the free-agent offer sheet with Sebastian Aho, which was another confirmation of the market,” the agent said.
The Flames currently have around $7.7 million in cap space, according to CapFriendly.
The 21-year-old tallied a career-high 34 goals and 77 points for Calgary last season, and posted a pair of goals and an assist in five playoff contests during the Flames’ disappointing first-round exit against the Avalanche.
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