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Tkachuk's three-year deal the perfect solution for contending Flames

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CALGARY — The smile on Sam Bennett’s face was symbolic of the mood in Calgary Wednesday.

Bennett woke up to news his pal Matthew Tkachuk had inked a three-year, $21-million pact that marks the perfect contractual solution for a player and a team now staring at a sizeable window to challenge for the Stanley Cup.

Tkachuk’s signature not only ended an extended contract impasse for the talented RFA, but rounds out one of the most talented cores in the NHL.

The list of those signed for the next three years in Calgary includes Mark Giordano, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Milan Lucic and Noah Hanifin.

That’s five of their top six scorers, the reigning Norris Trophy winner and arguably the toughest player in the league, all locked up for a team coming off a 107-point season in which they topped the Western Conference standings in the regular season.

General manager Brad Treliving has done his part — now the heat is on this squad to take advantage of the opportunity.

“It’s really exciting times for us in Calgary — we know how special this group is and it would be a big disappointment if we didn’t do something special with this group,” said Bennett.

“We all........

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