Dreams will become a reality for the Tkachuk brothers at the NHL All-Star Game.
Matthew Tkachuk, who stars for the host Florida Panthers, will finally suit up with his younger brother, Brady, when the Atlantic Division stars face the Metropolitan Division's best Saturday at Sunrise, Fla.
Brady, captain of the Ottawa Senators, was named to his third All-Star team, but this marks the first time he and his brother have been teammates. It is a perk of last summer's trade that sent Matthew from the Calgary Flames to Florida.
"As you go on in your career, you dream of playing in the NHL, and then you dream of playing together," Matthew said. "We always thought it was going to be maybe for Team USA or something like that, but now it comes during one of the biggest weekends in our sport."
The three-on-three format opens with a clash between the Pacific and Central Divisions clubs, with the winner of that match meeting the Metropolitan-Atlantic victor in the championship final later Saturday.
Matthew Tkachuk will also be joined by Panthers teammate Aleksander Barkov, who replaces injured Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews.
Tage Thompson, the Buffalo Sabres' original representative is injured, so teammate Rasmus Dahlin has taken his place and will be the Atlantic Division's lone defenseman. Joining them are Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning), Dylan Larkin, (Detroit Red Wings), Mitch Marner (Toronto), David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins) and Nick Suzuki (Montreal Canadiens). Goaltenders are Linus Ullmark (Boston) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay).
The Metropolitan squad has a trio of New York Rangers in goalie Igor Shesterkin, forward Artemi Panarin and defenseman Adam Fox. It also has plenty of experience in Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.
Rounding out the squad are Johnny Gaudreau (Columbus Blue Jackets), Kevin Hayes (Philadelphia Flyers), Jack Hughes (New Jersey Devils), Brock Nelson (New York Islanders) Andrei Svechnikov (Carolina Hurricanes) and Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin.
Hayes will also have brotherly motivation as he attends his first All-Star Game. His older brother, Jimmy, died in the summer of 2021.
"It's a cool situation for me because, not to get emotional, it's probably the only thing my brother -- since he stopped playing hockey -- wanted me to accomplish," Hayes said. "I never honestly thought it would happen, but it did."
--Field Level Media