Flames file for arbitration with winger Matthew Tkachuk

Calgary Flames' Matthew Tkachuk, centre, chats with teammates during opening day of training camp in Calgary, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Calgary Flames have filed for arbitration with star winger Matthew Tkachuk, eliminating the possibility of an offer sheet.

The club made the statement on Monday night.

The Flames say the move allows the club to continue to work with his agents toward a deal, presumably with a longer term.

The move also means Tkachuk can't accept a $9 million qualifying offer.

Tkachuk, 24, is coming off a three-year, $21-million deal with the Flames, who drafted him sixth overall in 2016.

Last season, Tkachuk posted a career-best season, scoring 42 goals to go with 62 assists for 104 points in 82 games. The Flames ultimately fell in Round 2 to the Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs, where Tkachuk produced 10 points in 12 games.

In 431 games across seven seasons, all with Calgary, Tkachuk has 152 goals and 230 points — ranking second in his draft class with 382 points, behind only Auston Matthews.

The move comes after former Flames star Johnny Gaudreau opted to leave town, signing a seven-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets as an unrestricted free agent.

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