Matthew Tkachuk Fires Shots at Canadian NHL Markets in Latest Interview

Published September 22, 2023 at 4:53 PM
BY DAVID MACINTYRE
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Panthers Star Reflects on Playing in Calgary



Canada is arguably the world's best and most passionate hockey country, but not every player can handle the pressure and scrutiny that comes with playing for one of their seven NHL clubs.

One such player is Matthew Tkachuk, who was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 2016 and enjoyed a successful spell with the team before signing with the Florida Panthers in free agency, returning him to his native United States.


Now, Tkachuk has spilled some tea about how he felt playing in Canada during a chat with Pierre LeBrun, published by The Athletic and Flames fans won't like his answer.


Canadian Fishbowls Not for Everyone



It's no secret that playing in Canada isn't for the faint of heart, especially if you play poorly and/or the team around you is also poor. But Tkachuk's comments, which are part of a bigger article LeBrun wrote about the hesitancy of many NHLers to play in Canada, seem to imply he couldn't fully handle playing in a hockey-crazed market like Calgary.

«I appreciate the fact that it's tough Playing in Canada is very different with the spotlight and the history. What I've noticed in the difference between playing in Canada and Florida is the highs and the lows. So I think for them, maybe, and they're unbelievable talents, but unless they win the Stanley Cup, they're basically getting crucified. And it's not their fault; it's kind of just the way it is.

I know that they're mentally tough enough, and I know them well, and they've been able to handle it and have kept getting better and better in their careers in each year. But I know, seeing it from afar, nothing against here, but I know I wouldn't want to deal with it on any given day.»

Appropriately, Tkachuk has been thriving since going to the Florida Panthers, having just come off his first-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance. If that's because of the «toxic media culture» in Canada, as suggested by @liontamer18 below, then the relief he feels must be immense. Nonetheless, it's still too bad the Flames couldn't have him for life.

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September 22   |   787 answers
Matthew Tkachuk Fires Shots at Canadian NHL Markets in Latest Interview

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