Still, when it comes to players who combine skill with pest-like behavior, there’s a balance that needs to be struck. Apparently the Flames franchise realizes that Tkachuk may have gone over the line regarding Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings … and they addressed it.
“He’s been talked to,” Glen Gulutzan said on Thursday, according to the Calgary Sun. “I didn’t personally talk to him but I know what message has been delivered. It was a great learning lesson for him.”
Johnny Gaudreau went as far as to say that the distractions explain why the Flames lost. Assistant GM Craig Conroy agreed, believing that Tkachuk bashing Doughty for going to the media gave the Kings a little “extra life.”
The Flames are currently in action against the San Jose Sharks, with Gaudreau generating an early lead thanks to a great goal. With Calgary heading toward a likely postseason berth, it should be interesting to see how Tkachuk straddles the line from agitating opponents and his own teammates as tensions build in a playoff series.
And, hey, if nothing else, Tkachuk’s response gained Mike Milbury’s approval: