It’s nearly the end of August and the Calgary Flames have yet to agree to terms with restricted free agent Matthew Tkachuk. At a golf tournament, one of Tkachuk’s representatives – super-agent Don Meehan – gave an update on the negotiations.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) August 19, 2019
Here’s what Meehan had to say (via TSN):
We took an approach where by we would be very proactive and progressive with Calgary. We started early, and we set a position. We didn’t really 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. So we’re involved in negotiations right now, but as far as I’m concerned it’s not a waiting game. We made a decision in terms of what we think is fair and relevant for the player and we’re working with Calgary now.
Tkachuk is usually represented by his uncle, Craig Oster (of Newport Sports Management), but it seems logical that Meehan would be jumping on the file given its prominence and his status as the agency’s founder. Tkachuk is one of the most prominent names on the RFA docket league-wide and Meehan previously represented Flames captain Jarome Iginla (among others).
There are two big takeaways from Meehan’s comments:
- They started talking with the Flames in June.
- They don’t feel like it’s a waiting game.
The first point suggests that Tkachuk’s camp wasn’t waiting for any other RFAs to set the market. The second point suggests that, despite the lack of movement league-wide for RFAs, the Tkachuk camp isn’t necessarily sitting on their hands waiting for a deal to come together.
That said, Tkachuk sits snugly in the middle of the RFA forward market. He’s probably going to get less than Mikko Rantanen, Brayden Point and Mitch Marner, but he realistically should get more than almost everybody else given his offensive production, intangibles and importance to the Flames’ overall game.
The RFA market plays the waiting game… pic.twitter.com/wwWCa1QVjO
— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) August 17, 2019
Until one of Rantanen, Point or Marner set the market’s ceiling or Boeser or Connor sign to set the floor, signing a Tkachuk deal could be risky for either side – the Flames could overpay, or Tkachuk could leave money on the table. The Flames don’t have their veterans reporting for training camp until Sept. 12 – roughly three weeks from now – so there is still plenty of time for the sides to reach an agreement, or for another RFA to get signed and set the market.
If you’re looking for positives: at least the lines of communication are seemingly still open between Tkachuk’s camp and the Flames.