Tkachuk Doing it All for the Panthers

Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Back when the Florida Panthers traded Jonathan Huberdeau to the Calgary Flames, many wondered how his offensive production would be replaced.

Huberdeau was coming off a season in which he led the Panthers with 115 points on 30 goals and 85 assists. It was a career-best for him, and being in the middle of his prime, it was expected that he could replicate something close to that production moving forward.

Well, do not look now, but the Panthers have a new productive forward in Matthew Tkachuk. After notifying the Flames that he had no intention of staying with the franchise after the team failed to sign unrestricted free agent Johnny Gaudreau, the team shipped him to the Panthers for Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt and a lottery-protected first-round selection in the 2025 NHL Entry Draft.

As of this writing (Monday, February 6), it appears that the Panthers won the deal. In Calgary, Huberdeau is struggling to be the kind of productive player that he was in Florida.

Huberdeau has just 33 points in 47 games and has yet to establish any kind of consistency. While it is still early in his Flames’ tenure, it is a bit worrisome that Huberdeau is not producing.

Meanwhile, Tkachuk, 25, has fit right in with the Panthers. He currently leads the team with 66 points on 25 goals and 41 assists.

The Panthers are currently fifth in the league in goals scored with 177 goals in 52 games and are first in the league in shots per game as they are averaging 35.7 shots a game. Tkachuk has been a big part of both of those categories.

Besides being second on the team with 25 goals, he is first on the team with 187 shots. He is not afraid to shoot the puck as it is hard, accurate, and deceiving.

Tkachuk has also been a key contributor to the league’s 11th-ranked power play. He leads the team with 24 points with the man advantage.

Not only has Tkachuk brought an abundance of offense to Florida, but he has also brought his toughness to the club as well. He has thrown a lot of big hits, has won a lot of battles along the boards, and he even leads the team in penalty minutes with 74.

He further warmed himself up to Panthers fans when he won the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award for the 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Florida at the FLA Live Arena. He finished the game with seven points (four goals and three assists) in two games, including a hat trick in the Atlantic Division’s 10-6 win over the Metropolitan Division.

The next thing Tkachuk needs to do is get his team into the Stanley Cup playoffs, which is not going to be an easy task. The Panthers are currently three points out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, which is currently being held by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

If Tkachuk can continue to bring his offense and tough play into every game moving forward, he might just be able to help his new team find a way to sneak into the postseason.

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
  2. The Final Countdown
  3. Here Come the Playoffs
  4. Home Stretch
  5. Kevy Cooks

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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