Tkachuk says more Battles of Alberta will be great for hockey

Gerry Thomas / National Hockey League / Getty

Calgary Flames agitator Matthew Tkachuk is excited to see the Edmonton Oilers more frequently during a unique 2021 NHL season.

All games this season will be played among divisional opponents, so the rivals are projected to meet nine or 10 teams over the course of the 56-game schedule. There are also increased odds the Flames and Oilers will meet in the playoffs.

"How great will that be for hockey?" Tkachuk said, according to Sportsnet's Eric Francis.

"Those games get a lot of traction. Even people who don't know much about hockey have come up to me a lot and asked about our games against Edmonton. I can't believe how many people in St. Louis I ran into wanted to talk about it. That's the first thing they always ask me about - what those games are like to play in," he added. "The Battle of Alberta has officially gone outside this province - not only in Canada but the rest of the U.S. The common thing they say is it's must-watch TV."

Tkachuk starred in multiple intense clashes between the two clubs last season, and his feud with Oilers enforcer Zack Kassian was one of the most memorable subplots of the 2019-20 campaign.

The 23-year-old led the Flames with 61 points in 69 contests a season ago.

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Tkachuk says more Battles of Alberta will be great for hockey
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