Monday, November 21, 2022

Weekend rankings: Who won the Matthew Tkachuk trade? Plus a new number one, the Devils make their case, and more

 The NHL served up a packed schedule on Saturday, but the most irresistible game was one that fans had had circled since the summer: the meeting between the Flames and Panthers. It was the first time to the two teams had crossed paths since the jaw-dropping July blockbuster that sent Matthew Tkachuk to Florida in exchange for a package that included Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, a prospect and a first.

It was a fascinating trade when it went down, arguably the single biggest blockbuster of the cap era, and it remains so today. Julian McKenzie had the definitive story of how it all came together, which you should absolutely take time to read if only for the image of an exhausted Brad Treliving sitting alone in his office with a beer after it was all over.

So who won the trade? That’s the argument we’ll be having for a good chunk of the next decade, because it’s what fans do whether Darryl Sutter likes it or not. The two teams didn’t help us much on Saturday, playing to a 4-4 tie before the Flames won the coin flip in the shootout. But now that we’ve seen the two teams in action against each other, let’s see if we can organize the arguments on either side of the deal in this week’s bonus top five.

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