Thursday, July 28, 2022

Mailbag: What if the Flames had used a sign-and-trade to trick Matthew Tkachuk? Plus scrapping offside, history's best backup, and more...

It’s late July and everyone is on vacation, but at least we’ve had a blockbuster trade and some other news to chew on. Let’s see what’s on your mind in an offseason mailbag.

Note: Submitted questions have been edited for clarity and style.

Hypothetically, what would have happened if Brad Treliving had just yelled “psych!” as soon as Matthew Tkachuk had signed the eight-year deal with Calgary and refused to trade him? Is there something addressing this scenario in the CBA? Obviously there are moral repercussions here, but contract-wise, is there a grievance case? – Jessica R.

The short answer: It would have been the greatest moment in NHL offseason history.

The longer answer: It wouldn’t have worked. Tkachuk obviously would refuse to play for Calgary, and the NHLPA would jump in with a grievance. The Panthers would too. They’d have precedent on their side, based on the Eric Lindros double-trade fiasco where an arbitrator essentially ruled that a handshake deal trumped one on paper. The league has no doubt tightened up its loopholes since then, but it would be a hard case for the Flames to win.

My guess is that it would come down to Gary Bettman having to rule, maybe after a few levels of arbitrators and appeals. Do you think the commissioner is going to side with the Canadian team trying to hold an American star hostage, or the struggling southern market trying to acquire the superstar to put them over the hump as a Cup contender? Yeah, me too.

Still, it would be fascinating to watch it all play out. And maybe it ends with Bettman ruling that the Panthers’ deal wasn’t official and Tkachuk has to go back on the market (since he’s still refusing to play for the Flames). Can Calgary get a better deal from someone else? I can’t see it. Probably best for everyone involved that they didn’t try to pull the rug out. Well, everyone except fans of Team Chaos.

My brother-in-law is a Jets fan, and he was lamenting the upcoming start of free agency. I thought that to help him out, the NHL should allow teams to offer a physical version of their team name to free agents without cap implications. I’m pretty sure Artemi Panarin would have thought very hard if he was offered a Gulfstream to play in Winnipeg. I thought it would be fun to rank the teams based on how big of an advantage that would be. – Kurt R.

This is some great offseason content. Let’s do a top and bottom five, with the caveat that we have to be dealing with tangible things that could actually be given to someone. That means no kraken, hurricanes, lightning or stars, because we wouldn’t want a world where Winnipeg is allowed to give players a jet to be unrealistic.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

(Want to read this post on The Athletic for free? Sign up for a free trial.)

No comments:

Post a Comment