Matthew Tkachuk's decision not to sign a contract extension with the Calgary Flames turned the 24-year-old winger into the summer's top trade target. He also reportedly has a list of several clubs with whom he would sign an extension.
Cap Friendly indicates Tkachuk earned $9 million last season in actual salary. He could seek at least that much as an average annual value on his next contract.
The St. Louis Blues are said to be on his list, which makes sense as St. Louis is his hometown. They're bumping against the $82.5-million cap so they'll have to send some salary to Calgary or elsewhere in a cost-cutting deal. Winger Jordan Kyrou would likely have to be part of the return for the Flames.
Cap space is also an issue for the Vegas Golden Knights, who recently shipped out Max Pacioretty and Evgenii Dadonov to shed salary. They love making blockbuster deals but probably can't afford to get into the bidding for Tkachuk.
The Nashville Predators have three forwards (Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene) earning at least $8 million annually. GM David Poile could be unwilling to add a fourth.
New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is believed in the market for a scoring winger for Mathew Barzal's line. However, Barzal could be part of the Flames' asking price. The Dallas Stars need additional scoring but acquiring Tkachuk could cost them rising star Jason Robertson.
The Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils possess the cap space to sign Tkachuk and depth in young players and prospects to tempt the Flames. The Devils could be the best fit if they offer up restricted free agent Jesper Bratt and if he's willing to sign a long-term deal with the Flames.