The restricted free agent is skating with his old OHL team, the London Knights, while he awaits a contract resolution with the Flames.
Tkachuk, 21, played one season for the Knights in 2015-16, scoring 30 goals and 107 points in 57 games. He played on a line with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner and Arizona Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak, helping the club win the OHL championship and Memorial Cup. Tkachuk scored the overtime winner in the Memorial Cup-clinching win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
The Flames drafted Tkachuk sixth overall after that season and he’s been in the NHL ever since.
Tkachuk and the Flames have both been fairly quiet during their negotiation. In February, after Auston Matthews signed for five years and $58.17 million, Tkachuk said the Maple Leafs centre “definitely set the bar for this year.”
More recently, after Marner signed a six-year, $65.358-million contract with the Leafs, Flames general manager Brad Treliving downplayed the impact that deal would have on negotiations with Tkachuk.
“Everybody has their own individual situations, no different than any other organization or any company,” Treliving said. “You know what’s going on out there, but you have your own situation and your own structure and all the things that you do internally.”
After falling just short of the 50-point mark in his first two seasons, Tkachuk exploded offensively last year with 34 goals and 77 points.
The Flames open the regular season on Oct. 3 against the Colorado Avalanche. Time will tell whether Tkachuk is playing in the game, or watching from London.