Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk after lifting Stanley Cup: ‘I couldn’t let Edmonton win’

Florida Panthers' Matthew Tkachuk joins Kyle Bukauskas to talk about what his family mean to him after winning the Stanley Cup before tributing his the Flames fans and stating his belief his brother can win the Cup.

Matthew Tkachuk‘s exit from Calgary may have caused some hard feelings, but he had Flames fans in mind after he played the biggest game of his life.

“Shout out to my fans in Calgary, you know I couldn’t let Edmonton win,” Tkachuk told Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas on the ice after his Florida Panthers beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday in Sunrise, Fla.

Two years after telling the Flames he would not sign a long-term deal with the club that picked him sixth overall in 2016, setting the wheels in motion for a blockbuster, August trade to Florida, Tkachuk lifted hockey’s most cherished prize as a Panther.

That might have not been an ideal sight for many Flames fans, but seeing the provincial rival Oilers do it could have stung even more.

[brightcove videoID=6355636229112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

The six-foot-two Tkachuk finished with six goals and 16 assists in 24 playoff games, tying for the team lead in post-season scoring.

While his Panthers won the Cup after finishing runner-up last year, Tkachuk’s former team is now in a rebuild — but he was classy to Calgary after his triumph.

Along with his kind words to Calgary, Tkachuk took time to focus on his family.

Father Keith, a former NHLer, and his brother Brady, captain of the Ottawa Senators, were among those in the stands watching Game 7.

When asked for his thoughts while lifting the Cup, Tkachuk said: “I was thinking of my family. They’re the biggest reason why I’m able to do what I do.”

[brightcove videoID=6355637243112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

Brady was visibly emotional while seeing his brother complete the triumph.

Last year, Brady had to help Matthew get out of bed during a playoff run when he suffered a fractured sternum.

“He’ll have to get me out of bed tomorrow. I won’t be in no shape to be moving too well,” Matthew said with a smile.

“They’re going to be here celebrating with me. I know my brother’s going to do it very soon. He’s an unbelievable player built for playoffs and I can’t wait to see him play in a playoffs and Stanley Cup Final soon. He’s too good.”

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.