Brady Tkachuk turns 23 on Friday, so the Ottawa Senators forward planned to take advantage of staying in Las Vegas for the NHL North American Player Media Tour by celebrating Thursday night with older brother Matthew Tkachuk from the Florida Panthers and a few other players in town for the event, including Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils, Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks and Robert Thomas of the St. Louis Blues.
“I don’t know every detail, but I just know it will be a late one,” Matthew Tkachuk said Thursday at Lifeguard Arena in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada. “… The fact that we have a bunch of us together in Vegas, it will be a blast tonight, I’m sure.”
In that way, the Tkachuks’ off-ice relationship was unchanged by the July 22 trade that sent Matthew and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft from the Calgary Flames to the Panthers for forward Jonathan Huberdeau, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, forward prospect Cole Schwindt and a conditional first-round pick in the 2025 draft. The bond between them as each other’s biggest fan remains strong.
But the brothers realized quickly after the trade that the on-ice dynamic will be different between them with Matthew joining Brady in the Atlantic Division.
“The excitement when [the trade] happened, it was pure happiness,” Brady Tkachuk said. “But then all the sudden we started thinking, ‘Well, all right, this is not all fun and games anymore.’ These are going to be some big-time games moving forward.”
The Tkachuks have gone from being on teams in different conferences, which meant two family-fun regular-season games between them each season, to three intense regular-season showdowns this season, the first on Oct. 29 at Florida. Those games will impact the Stanley Cup Playoff race in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference with the potential for the Tkachuks to go head-to-head in playoff series for many seasons to come.
Matthew signed an eight-year contact with Florida following his trade and Brady is signed for six more seasons with Ottawa.
“These games are four-point games. They mean a ton,” said Matthew Tkachuk, a 24-year-old forward who set NHL career highs with 42 goals, 62 assists and 104 points in 82 games last season with Calgary. “I’m sure our teams are going to have playoff battles. They’re just very important games for a bunch of years.”