July 25 — The Calgary-Florida Blockbuster & Other 100-Point Trades

Last Night’s News 📰

FINNISH SK8ER B(SK)OI: Three years ago, Joonas Donskoi made a generous donation to save the skate park in his hometown of Raahe, Finland, and on Friday, the community paid him back. Valtteri Karjula and Henri Ylikulju, the skate park co-founders and life-long friends of Donskoi, raised an autographed jersey to the park’s rafters to honor the Seattle Kraken forward.

LOCKING UP LAINE: On Friday, the Columbus Blue Jackets agreed to a four-year, $34.8 million extension with restricted free agent Patrik Laine. The 24-year-old forward had 56 points (26 goals, 30 assists) in 56 games for Columbus last season.

BYE BYE BJORKSTRAND: With limited available cap space after the Laine signing, the Blue Jackets cleared some room by sending 28-goal-scorer Oliver Bjorkstrand to the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a third- and fourth-round pick next summer.

2022 SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER: It was the trade that shocked the NHL world. Late Friday night, the Calgary Flames traded Matthew Tkachuk and a conditional 2025 fourth-round pick to the Florida Panthers for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt, and a conditional 2025 first-rounder.

Tkachuk for Huberdeau: Who Won the Trade?

Friday night’s blockbuster Matthew Tkachuk trade floored the hockey world. While Tkachuk was already at the center of swirling trade speculation (such as in Friday’s newsletter), the shock came from a staggering return package from the Florida Panthers that included Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt, and a 2025 first-round pick (lottery-protected).

Based on the sheer volume of the return cost, early reactions have mostly skewed toward the Calgary Flames‘ end of the deal. But did the Flames win this one? Since “we won’t know for several years” is always a buzzkill response, why don’t we make an early argument for each side of the mega-deal?

Why Calgary Won the Trade

Jonathan Huberdeau, former Florida Panther (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

You can make an interesting argument for Tkachuk versus Huberdeau as a one-for-one transaction (I’d personally take Huberdeau even with the knowledge that he’s five years older). But the thing is, the league’s second-leading scorer was merely one component of Calgary’s haul for Tkachuk, a player who wasn’t sticking around anyway! When you consider that GM Brad Treliving also squeezed out a top-four defender (Weegar), a 21-year-old forward prospect, and a first-rounder, then it’s a pretty great turnaround to what’s been a bummer of an offseason for the Flames.

Why Florida Won the Trade

Matthew Tkachuk, former Calgary Flame (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

For anyone laughing at the Panthers for the high cost they paid to land Tkachuk, it’s worth looking at what they now have. Already the defending Presidents’ Trophy winners, Florida got ahead of what promised to be a tight cap crunch next summer and turned a pair of pending unrestricted free agents (UFA) into a blossoming star and a fourth-round selection in 2025. Instead of finding themselves in a similar situation with Huberdeau next offseason as Calgary faced with Johnny Gaudreau this summer, they now have two young cornerstones (Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov) signed through 2030. In other words, save your pity.

Triple-Digit Trades

After telling Calgary he would not sign an extension, the Flames sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt, and a conditional 2025 first-round pick (Florida also received a conditional 2025 fourth-round pick). It’s rare to see any player coming off a 100-point season get traded and even rarer to see two players who scored more than 100 points (Tkachuk 104 points (42 goals, 62 assists) and Huberdeau 115 points (30 goals, 85 assists), both career-highs) swapped. Here are a few other times players packed their bags following a season in which they scored more than 100 points.

Marcel Dionne (1975)

Dionne was a young star for the Detroit Red Wings in the early ’70s, but the team was not great. The 23-year-old reached the century mark in points for the first time in his career in 1974-75, scoring 121 (47 goals, 74 assists) in 82 games. Despite his efforts, the Wings once again missed the playoffs.

Marcel Dionne with the Kings (Photo by Graig Abel Collection/Getty Images)

Dionne was looking for a higher payday, so in the summer of 1975, Detroit shipped him to the Los Angeles Kings for Terry Harper, Dan Maloney, draft picks, and cash, with Dionne immediately signing an extension with the Kings. He would surpass the 100-point mark in seven more seasons, winning the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer (in a tiebreaker over Wayne Gretzky) in 1979-80, but never found much postseason success. After retiring in 1989, Dionne was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.

Mike Rogers (1981)

Rogers played six seasons in the World Hockey Association (WHA) before the Hartford Whalers joined the NHL in 1979. He finished with exactly 105 points in each of his first two NHL seasons. Before the 1981-82 campaign, Rogers was traded (along with a draft pick) to the New York Rangers for Chris Kotsopoulos, Gerry McDonald, and Doug Sulliman. The 27-year-old scored 103 points (38 goals, 65 assists) in his first season with the Rangers but would never reach triple digits again, scoring 205 points in 244 games before retiring in 1986. 

Wayne Gretzky and Jimmy Carson (1988)

Despite winning the Stanley Cup in 1988 and having a player in Gretzky who had won the Art Ross Trophy seven times and the Hart Trophy eight times, the Oilers were shopping him on the trade market. He ended up being dealt to the Kings, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski, to the Kings for Carson, Martin Gélinas, $15 million cash, and three first-round picks (1989, 1991, and 1993).

Jimmy Carson had two seasons of 100 or more points during his career but he’ll best be known as the headliner of the trade package for Wayne Gretzky (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

Gretzky scored 149 points (40 goals, 109 assists) in 64 games the season before the trade, and he would surpass the century mark five more times in his career. Carson finished with 107 points (55 goals, 52 assists) in 80 games in 1987-88, then scored 100 (49 goals, 51 assists) in his first year in Edmonton but never got close to that mark again.

Player Spotlight – Leon Draisaitl

Leon Draisaitl had an impressive postseason with 32 points in 16 games. He won the Hart Trophy in 2020 and has been one of the best forward in the league these past few seasons. Fans know plenty about what he has brought to the ice, but what about his life outside of hockey? Let’s check in.

Best Locker Room DJ on the Oilers:

Darnell Nurse

What’s Your Favorite Non-hockey Activity?:

Soccer & ping-pong

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What TV Show Did You Binge-Watch During Quarantine?:

The Undoing

What Is Your Golf Handicap?:

High, very high

Are You an Early Bird or Night Owl?:

Early bird