Top News

ALL-STAR: Sens' Brady Tkachuk will replace Leafs' Auston Matthews in mid-season showcase

 Brady Tkachuk (7) of the Senators has 15 goals, 12 assists and 53 penalty minutes this season.
Brady Tkachuk (7) of the Senators has 15 goals, 12 assists and 53 penalty minutes this season.

Brady Tkachuk had already planned to be in his hometown St. Louis for the NHL’s all-star weekend.

Late Wednesday, he learned he would need need his equipment.

The Ottawa Senators’ winger had to cut his vacation in the Bahamas short, but he’ll have good reason after being named as a replacement for Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, who won’t be able to represent the Atlantic Division because he’s nursing a wrist injury.

Tkachuk received the call from the NHL Wednesday. He’ll be in St. Louis to go head-to-head with his brother Matthew, who is representing the Calgary Flames as a Pacific Division all-star.

Tkachuk will join Senators winger Anthony Duclair, who was selected as the club’s representative earlier this month.

For parents Keith and Chantal Tkachuk, this means both sons will be able in the spotlight in front of friends and family.

“We’re (excited), but I’m not as excited as my wife,” Keith Tkachuk said from the family’s St. Louis home Wednesday night. “She’s jumping around like a crazy madman right now.

“Nah, it works out great, it’s convenient and it’s perfect timing because Brady was planning on coming back to St. Louis anyway (on Thursday) and it’s a huge honour.

“I know he’s pretty pumped. I talked to him briefly once I found out. He’s excited and there’s nothing better than doing it for both the boys in their hometown. So it’s really exciting times for my wife and I.”

Let’s be honest, Brady Tkachuk accepted the invitation in a heartbeat. He grew up in a hockey family, loves playing the game and would be buoyed by Matthew’s presence. He wanted to be there to support his brother and now he’ll get the opportunity to participate in a weekend that is a highlight for many players.

The fact it’s in St. Louis is icing on the cake. There will be plenty of family and friends there because Keith’s parents were already coming in, as were Chantal’s dad and several friends of Matthew. Brady had already planned to be part of the celebration, but he was going to have to leave before the game on Saturday night he could return to Ottawa in time for Senators practice on Sunday.

“(Brady) was planning to fly in from the Bahamas and I’m sure his legs won’t be feeling too good, and he was supposed to leave on Saturday, but this is just great. We got the phone call this afternoon and we’re pretty excited,” Keith said. “It’s a big thrill for us as a family and the boys are really pumped to play in a rink they grew up going to every day.

“This is a big event for us and this just adds to it.”

The Tkachuks are proud of what their sons have accomplished.

“Matthew has earned the right to be here and Brady’s worked hard and we’re really happy with where he’s at and where his team is,” Keith said. “We’re going to be pretty busy here. We’ve got a lot of activities going on.”

Forty members of the Tkachuk family were in Ottawa last weekend to watch the Senators score a 5-2 victory against the Flames.

“(Chantal) has never been this happy, especially coming off last week, when we were all together, It’s been a great ride for us and she loves planning things and this just another way to get everybody together and have a little fun,” Keith said.

“Anytime you can have both your boys be part of something great like this, where they’re right up there amongst their peers, it’s a great thing. You never know what can happen down the line and to do it in your hometown is pretty damn special.”

Matthews, who has 34 goals, 23 assists and six penalty minutes for the Leafs, will still be in St. Louis, but won’t participate in on-ice activities.

Now in his second NHL season after being drafted fourth overall in 2018, Tkachuk ranks fifth on the Senators this season with 27 points, including 15 goals, and he has 53 penalty minutes.

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/sungarrioch

ALSO IN SPORTS

Double the partner changes for Ottawa tennis star Gabriela Dabrowski

Chesterville’s Kurtis Barkley a big hit on the golf course

Ottawa Redblacks sign four newcomers, re-sign DB Sherrod Baltimore

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

Recent Stories