The Florida Panthers are heading up north to face the Calgary Flames on Tuesday in what will be the first time Matthew Tkachuk returns to the Scotiabank Saddledome since requesting, and being granted a trade during the offseason. Ahead of his return to Calgary, Tkachuk opened up on his emotions and what type of reception he’s anticipating from Flames fans, via Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic.
“That’s the beauty about playing on a different team now; they can do whatever they want: boo, cheer, whatever. I’ve got no hard feelings for them at all. I appreciate everything that they’ve done for me and how they supported me. I loved playing for them. I loved interacting with them outside of the rink. Just great, great people … I really enjoyed my time playing for them and getting to meet a lot of people in that city. It’s an unbelievable city. I guess we’ll see what happens?” said Tkachuk.
Tkachuk admitted that he’s unsure about what type of reception he’ll receive, but that he’ll be okay with whatever the fans decide to do.
The 24-year-old requested a trade this offseason and was dealt to the Florida Panthers in exchange for the league’s leading assister in 2022, Jonathan Huberdeau, as well as MacKenzie Weegar. While he’s faced the Flames previously this season, that matchup was in Florida, so this will be his first time returning to Calgary since the deal went down.
Last year with the Flames, Tkachuk racked up 104 points while appearing in all 82 games. He scored 42 goals and added 62 assists, both of which were career highs. Thus far in 2022-23, Matthew Tkachuk has 29 points in 20 games, with 10 goals and 19 assists during his first year with his new team.