With NHL training camps less than a month away, several restricted free agents remain unsigned including Matthew Tkachuk, and there doesn’t appear to be any hope that a deal will get done soon.
Tkachuk’s agent Don Meehan addressed the ongoing negotiations with the Calgary Flames at the Serge Savard Golf Tournament Monday afternoon, saying that it is not about remaining patient.
“We took an approach where we would be really proactive and progressive with Calgary,” Meehan told TVA Sports. “We started early and we set a position, we really didn’t have to wait. We formulated a position that we thought would be fair and we gave that to Calgary probably [in] the early part of June.
“We’re involved in negotiations right now but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a waiting game. We’ve made a decision in terms of what we think is fair and relevant for the player and we’re working with Calgary now.”
After buying out Michael Stone on Aug. 2, the Flames have roughly $7.7 million in cap space according to CapFriendly.com.
There has been speculation suggesting agents are waiting to see what amount Mitch Marner signs for with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Meehan believes they have set a value that is consistent with the market for Tkachuk.
“We decided that we would initiate the process with Calgary and we did it early, and I think we are happy that we did,” Meehan said. “Of course, we saw the free-agent offer sheet with Sebastian Aho, which was another confirmation of the market.”
The 21-year-old set a new career-high with 34 goals and 77 points in 80 games for the Flames last season, then registered two goals and three points in five playoff games against the Colorado Avalanche.
One thing Meehan does not anticipate is a standoff similar to one the Leafs had with William Nylander where he ended up signing before the 5 p.m. ET RFA deadline on Dec. 1.
“The worst thing you want is a Nylander kind of scenario where the player is out until December, that’s not beneficial for the player or the club.”
Calgary opens training camp on Sept. 14 with their first pre-season game scheduled for Sept. 18 at home against the Edmonton Oilers.