Florida Panthers | Matthew Tkachuk Ready for “The Serious Things Begin”

(Coral Springs) Alexander Barkov was asleep at his home in Finland when the mega deal that allowed the Florida Panthers to acquire Matthew Tkachuk became official, which isn’t surprising since it was around 4 a.m. in this part of the world at the time.

Posted at 1:40 pm

Tim Reynolds
News agency

He woke up and read many text messages from his friends interacting with the transaction.

It didn’t take long before he received a message from Tkachuk.

“The first message was ‘f****** right’ and he said he’s looking forward to being in Florida. Let’s take it one step further, and be a winning team many years to come,” Panthers captain Barkoff said on Wednesday’s media release. He’s that kind of guy. He wants to win. He wants to bring that kind of attitude to our organization. I think it affects her already. »

Only with that, Barkov was reassured.

And just weeks after getting back in shape, the Panthers will finally get their first glimpse of the player they got on Thursday, as raising the curtain of camp – a first under new coach Paul Morris.

“Everyone’s been here for a few weeks,” Tkachuk admitted. I started my bootcamp a few weeks ago. So it’s not much different from my daily life for the past few days. I got to meet everyone…so it’s time to start getting serious. I’m tired of training and preparing. I want to play. It’s the same for everyone. »

Morris was appointed this summer, inheriting the team that won the President’s Cup last season before falling behind in the second round of the playoffs. It was the first time the Panthers had made it past the first round since the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996.

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Like his players, he is keen on his first official training, calling it “our first Christmas together”.

As part of the July 22 deal, 24-year-old Tkachuk agreed to an eight-season deal worth $76 million. This deal, however, cost the Panthers much more; They also had to let go of striker Jonathan Huberdeau, the franchise’s all-time top scorer, and defender Mackenzie Wiggard. In contrast, Calgary Flames replaced the left winger who scored his all-time high with 42 goals and 62 assists.

“I wish Huby and the Weegs good luck. They are nice guys. We liked them all. We can’t blame them. It’s obvious, because it was in the best interests of the team and the organization. We turn the page and prepare for a new season.”

The Panthers will start their camp with 56 players – 31 strikers, 19 defense and six goalkeepers. This group includes brothers Eric and Mark Stahl. Marc Staal joined Panthers as a free agent in July, while Eric Staal agreed to try a professional one.

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