June 9, 2019 | 1:38pm ET



Matthew Tkachuk, left wing


The Calgary Flames and young star Matthew Tkachuk are taking their time when it comes to hammering out a new contract.

The two sides have had general discussions, to date, and negotiations aren’t expected to pick up until later this month, a source close to the situation told TFP.

Tkachuk, 21, is coming off his three-year, entry-level contract and is likely looking to cash in on a big deal after putting up 34 goals and 43 assists for 77 points with the Flames this season.

It’s unclear, though, what type of deal Tkachuk and his camp are seeking. He could look to sign a short-term, three-year bridge contract or demand a max eight-year term and higher salary cap hit.

The Flames have roughly $14.5 million in available salary cap space with Tkachuk, Sam Bennett and Andrew Mangiapane among the potential RFAs to sign.

Flames GM Brad Treliving is trying to trade winger James Neal and his $5.75 million salary cap hit after he bailed to gel with the team and fit under coach Bill Peters’ system.

Neal, who ranks among the players on the TFP Off-Season Trade Watch list, does not own any no-trade protection, but the Flames will likely have to retain a portion of his salary in order to complete a deal.