Detroit Red Wings must entertain a Matthew Tkachuk trade

The Detroit Red Wings are shifting the focus to the coming fall and what it might bring post-draft and free agency. But with recent news out of Calgary, the team may not be done with their offseason moves. Calgary Flames veteran forward Matthew Tkachuk has informed the team he will not be re-signing long-term.

The move likely stems from star forward Johnny Gaudreau leaving the Flames organization in free agency. With Gaudreau out, the Flames core could be heading for a shakeup, and this news makes it even more likely. The Detroit Red Wings should make phone calls as soon as possible to start working towards a trade.

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There is more than enough to be excited about when it comes to Tkachuk and what he brings to a team. He’s been a rockstar for the Flames recently, playing solid two-way hockey and really starting to find some of that offense. In 2021-22, Tkachuk had a breakout season, scoring 42 goals and 62 assists for 104 total points over 82 games played.

He’s been an offensive weapon for the flames in recent years but turned it on this past season. He was named an all-star for the Flames and was in the running for the Hart Trophy. Now, with a new home as the desired landing spot for Tkachuk, the Red Wings must join the sweepstakes to bring him in.

Even for a high cost, there is no way the Red Wings can pass up the chance to try and acquire Tkachuk with the intention of signing him to a long-term contract. If the Red Wings want to expedite this rebuild with some speed, bringing in Tkachuk might be something that helps them push this even further along.

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What would it cost the Detroit Red Wings to trade for Matthew Tkachuk?

If the Detroit Red Wings are going to enter the sweepstakes, it’s going to take a lot. That is okay, though. It would be worth it, especially with what Tkachuk could bring to the table for the Red Wings in the future. Going all out in a trade offer for Tkachuk is the right move. Writer for The Athletic Max Bultman hits the nail on the head here with a tweet about the situation.

While many panic when they think about losing a first-round pick or giving up draft capital, Steve Yzerman always finds a way. It’s just what he does. Even if the Red Wings were to go all-in and give up the first-round selection, I’d bet that Yzerman re-coups some early second-rounders or would be able to trade up in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

The Red Wings would have to spruce together a trade package that catches the eye of the Flames organization. To do that, it feels like the bare minimum is offering up…

  • W Filip Zadina
  • D Filip Hronek
  • 2023 Round 1 Draft Pick

That is not all.

That group of two players and a pick is the base for the package. The team can go in a few different directions here, but it requires reading the room. Even losing Gaudreau and Tkachuk, the Flames will not want to tear things down completely, so getting top-tier players back seems like the move.

This leads me to want to include someone like Tyler Bertuzzi. He’d be a perfect addition to the trade package, but the Red Wings must look elsewhere. Still, as many will be keen to point out, he is unvaccinated, and being traded to a Canadian team is likely not a possibility at the moment.

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Who else should be added to the Detroit Red Wings trade package?

With the Red Wings also being in a rebuild, it’s hard to part ways with prospects. But, in this case, I would be willing to mortgage the future of any players still in the system and send them to the Flames as a part of the deal. Someone like Jonatan Berggren, who was on fire at the end of the 2021-22 season, could garner extra attention from the Flames and boost the trade package.

The Red Wings could also be willing to move someone like Marco Kasper if they are not super attached to him already. He’s a first-round pick, but I would not rule him out of the conversation if the urge to get a deal done for Tkachuk is there.

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They could also be looking to include someone like Albert Johansson or Elmer Söderblom. Both of them are players who are on the verge of making a debut. But, on the other hand, the Red Wings still have pieces they could move that are young in Michael Rasmussen and Joe Veleno.

Both have made their debuts and have been underwhelming to an extent, but it could be valuable to put together a trade package. With all of this in mind, I put together a complete package that I think would sway the Flames’ front office to pull the trigger.

  • W Filip Zadina
  • D Filip Hronek
  • C Joe Veleno
  • W Jonatan Berggren
  • 2023 Round 1 Draft Pick
  • 2024 Round 4 Pick (Detroit’s pick, not Dallas’)

It’s a massive deal that would send a lot the other way but bring in a lot of excitement with  Tkachuk joining the organization. Circling back to Bertuzzi, it would allow the team to turn around and flip him for more pieces to recoup what was lost in this trade; or hang onto Bertuzzi and create some real havoc with a Tkachuk-Suter-Bertuzzi line.

The point is, the Red Wings have to get in on the action. Not even attempting to trade for Tkachuk is foolish. The trade would dramatically shift the direction of the rebuild for the better, and the Red Wings have to see that.

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