How Matthew Tkachuk Earned His Nickname The Turtle? Find Out

Matthew Tkachuk earned the moniker, ‘The Turtle’ during his term with the Calgary Flames. Let's learn more about it!

Published on Jun 17, 2024  |  04:08 PM IST |  81.6K
Matthew Tkachuk's Instagram
Matthew Tkachuk's Instagram

Mathew Tkachuk, an NHL star player, is often known for his aggressive play on the ice. He has earned a reputation not only for his play but also for his colorful and sometimes controversial persona.

Over the years, his controversial act has not been hidden from anyone. It is also one of the reasons that the American professional ice hockey player earned the moniker ‘The Turtle,’ during his early career days with the Calgary Flames.

Also Read: Were Matthew Tkachuk and Jayson Tatum in the Same Gym Class? Find Out

How did Matthew Tkachuk earn his nickname ‘The Turtle’?

Matthew Tkachuk spent the early six years of his career with the Flames. During that time, he was engaged in some confrontations, particularly the Battle of Alberta against the Edmonton Oilers. 

In short, the nickname ‘The Turtle’ traces back to a series of events that highlighted Tkachuk’s involvement in provoking opponents. This often used to lead to physical confrontations. 

One of the incidents regarding the same occurred in the 2017-2018 season. The Calgary Flames and the Los Angeles Kings were playing a game when Flames’ Tkachuk and Kings’ Drew Doughty got engaged in a not-so-good conversation after the former delivered a high elbow on the latter's face.

The situation became so bad that Doughty asked for a fight. However, instead of fighting back, Tkachuk dropped to the ice and covered up, a move often referred to in hockey as “turtling.”


‘The Turtle’, the moniker was quickly born out of this moment, summarizing Tkachuk’s decision to protect himself rather than battle. 

However, this is not the only incident in which the player was seen turtling. He even had a heated moment with Oilers forward Zack Kassian, back in 2020.

The Flames forward landed two heavy hits on Kassian which even made the player’s helmet fly during the match. In response, Kassian retaliated by ripping off Tkachuk's helmet and throwing punches. This time again, Tkachuk refused to fight. 

The battle of Alberta started again, but in 2022, Tkachuk decided not to re-sign a deal with the Flames and hence was traded to the Florida Panthers.

Also Read: Have the Florida Panthers Won a Stanley Cup? Find Out

Matthew Tkachuk’s tenure with the Florida Panthers

Tkachuk was traded to the Florida Panthers in 2022 for an eight-year, $76 million contract. Just in his first season with them, the now 26-year-old surpassed his record for points in a season.


For this accomplishment, he was named a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy. Not just that, in the 2023 season’s NHL All-Star Game, he was named the Game MVP. 

Later, in the same year, the player played a prominent role in leading his team in the 2023 Stanley Cup Finals. 

It is significant to note that this year, the Florida Panthers are again in contention in the Stanley Cup Finals. They are set against the Oilers and are going for a 3-1 victory as of now.

Also Read: What Were the Most Goals Scored and Highest Scoring Game in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals? All You Need To Know

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About The Author

Alisha Kotadia is a skilled sports journalist at the Pinkvilla. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Mass



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