Let’s call this nothing more than an unsubstantiated rumor or water-cooler chatter for now, but according to Shane O’Brien, who is a co-host on the Steve Kouleas Powerplay podcast, Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk might want out of Calgary. It’s not clear why, but apparently, his preference is to go to the St. Louis Blues.

There was talk earlier this week that a team like the St. Louis Blues might be interesting in pursuing Tkachuk if the Flames were crazy enough to trade him. It’s not clear if that report has anything to do with this rumor, but perhaps the fact insiders seem to be talking about Tkachuk possibly being on the move and not an “untouchable” has something to do with speculation he might welcome a change.

There’s all sorts of talk coming out of Calgary that the team is about to shake things up. Names like Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan have been at the top of the rumors charts when it comes to big pieces that could be traded. Tkachuk has always been in the background of those talks, but most have responded with any chatter of a trade with, ‘why would the Flames want to trade him?’ It’s an argument that made sense considering he’s one of, if not their best player.

But, with one year left on his current $7 million per season deal, and with him coming up on RFA status, maybe he’s decided that he’s not keen on signing long-term. Could he have advised the team that he’s likely not to sign a long-term extension and when he gets the chance, might leave? Again, this is all just speculation, but stranger things have happened.

Tkachuk was not his typical productive self last season either. His production dipped as he had five of his sixteen goals in the final five games, but 11 goals through 51 others. But, in 2019-20, he played 69 games and had 23 goals. The year prior, he scored 34 goals and had 77 points in 80 games. That’s what the Flames were expecting this season. Clearly, things in Calgary did not go according to plan.

O’Brien Believes It’s a Tkachuk for Tarasenko Deal

O’Brien said that Vladimir Tarasenko is the player the Blues would be moving in a deal because the team is ready to move on from him. He said, “His time there is clearly done.” And, because Tkachuk wants to leave and go back to him hometown, the central pieces of a deal could be there. He said he wouldn’t just make up rumors and he was hearing it from from ex-players and people who might know Tkachuk well. He called it something you hear during “crazy season”, but he said that with things not going the right way, the two teams might work together to give both players a fresh start.

The Blues would have to give up more than just Tarasenko, but if he’s not wanting to stay in St. Louis, this is a player, who if he gets healthy, could be a nice goal scorer for the Flames.

This article first appeared on NHL Trade Talk and was syndicated with permission.

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