"I Hate Edmonton, But I Hate Tampa More Now" - Matthew Tkachuk Wasting No Time Adding Fuel To The Battle Of Florida Fire

I still haven't decided how I feel one way or another about the Tkachuk trade. On one hand I think Calgary dummied Florida in this trade because Huberdeau is the best player involved AND they got MacKenzie Weegar. Calgary also got a 1st round pick out of the trade, too. But on the other hand...Matthew Tkachuk is a special breed of player. He's the Rat King. He's one of the only guys who has the ability to be just as effective as a point scorer as he does being a total menace out on the ice. He hasn't even played a single game in a Panthers sweater yet and I have to imagine he'll be the most hated player on that roster by the folks in Tampa before that first game rolls around. 

The Bolts are still on top in the Eastern Conference. 3 straight trips to the Cup Final, they won back-to-back Cups in '20 and '21. The goal for any Eastern Conference team right now has to be figuring out a way to gain an advantage over Tampa. And as if the Battle of Florida wasn't already getting greasy enough, it'll hard not to give Florida an edge here when they'll have Matty Tkachuk running around out there getting all of Tampa's wires to cross. 

And it's not just Tampa, either. It's any team that'll have to go up against the Panthers 4 times a year in the Atlantic Division. It's a guarantee at this point that some team like Boston is going to end up with the same Drew Doughty experience on the Matthew Tkachuk Friendship Tour. 

So yeah. On paper I'd still say that Huberdeau + Weegar + a 1st makes Calgary the winner in this trade. But it's still just July and Matthew Tkachuk is already stirring the pot in the Battle of Florida. I can only imagine how much extra grease he's going to throw on that fire the closer they get to meeting in the playoffs. If I had to put money on it right now, I'd say Kucherov is going to be the first to snap.