Sibling rivalry is nothing new in professional sports, but the Tkachuk brothers are seemingly ready to go at each other’s throats whenever the opportunity arises.
During the warm-up skate when Matthew’s Calgary Flames and Brady’s Ottawa Senators faced off on Sunday, the two brothers shared some smalltalk, kneeling opposite one another at centre ice.
That was Matthew’s first chance to see his younger brother Brady donning the “C” as Ottawa’s newest captain, and for the Flames alternate captain to have a potential spark of harmless jealousy. Or he can just take the leadership off the ice and in the family home.
“Deep down, he knows I still make the calls when we’re together in the summer,” Matthew after the 4-0 win for Calgary. “He can be the captain for his team. … But he knows who’s the captain in the summer. It’s probably my Mom, honestly. … But when it’s me and him, he knows who it is.”
Taking charge of a household containing two active players as sons and a husband that appeared in 1,201 NHL games must be some task that no doubt deserves any captaincy for Chantal Oster, Matthew and Brady’s mother.
The hierarchical rivalry is not just about the letters on their chests, though, but in other aspects out of their control.
Matthew was drafted seventh overall; Brady beat him by being taken with the third pick. Matthew had to take a short-term bridge deal; Brady was given a maximum-term extension just this summer. It’s all about the competition between these two rascals.
At least Matthew has the advantage in production this season, having earned 12 points so far compared to Brady’s seven. And we’ll have to see where it ends up at season’s end, but the Flames’ 8-3-4 record compared to the Sens’ 4-10-1, isn’t looking too hot for the league’s newest captain.
It’s all for good fun, but Matthew may get the last laugh if his team is still playing when Brady shows up at home in the summer.
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