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Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) and Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) skate during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Sunrise, Fla.

Whoever wins the Stanley Cup will have all the bragging rights at Brady Tkachuk’s wedding.

That’s because Golden Knights captain Mark Stone and Florida Panthers star — and Brady’s brother — Matthew Tkachuk will be groomsmen for the Ottawa Senators’ captain’s wedding set to take place in mid-July.

The time will come for Stone and the Tkachuk brothers to unwind in the offseason and enjoy getting the younger Tkachuk married, but there is the matter of a large silver trophy to play for.

Stone and the Golden Knights will host Tkachuk and the Panthers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday (5 p.m., TNT) and if there’s anyone that knows the two stars better than anyone, it’s Brady.

“It’s kind of funny about this being the end of the season with two people that I really care a lot about,” Tkachuk said in a phone interview with the Sun. “Both of them mean so much to me.”

Make no mistake that Brady Tkachuk is pulling for his brother in this series. The family ties run deep, notably in the Tkachuk family — their dad Keith scored 1,065 points in 20 NHL seasons.

Brady is also Matthew’s biggest supporter. Last season when Matthew was in the playoffs with the Calgary Flames, Brady was the exuberant hypeman from the Scotiabank Saddledome bleachers. He was never hard to miss, whether he was telling the crowd to get louder or shotgunning numerous cans of Bud Light, he was at every home game in support of his brother.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Brady said. “I’ll be interested to see how this unfolds. But of course, I have to cheer for family.”

Brady Tkachuk said he’s not going to be in the stands this time around, except in the chance of a close-out game where the Panthers can win the Stanley Cup. He promised he would be more calm this time around if he attended a game.

“He gets a good brother award for trying to make it to one game,” Matthew Tkachuk said. “That’s a little bit of motivation to get to that. He’s my biggest supporter, but he doesn’t want to be a distraction.”

On the other hand is Stone, who at one time was the heartbeat of the Senators before he was traded to Vegas in February 2019. Stone opened up his home to Brady when he was a rookie. When Stone was traded, he rented his house to the younger Tkachuk brother.

The relationship between veteran and rookie was really close. They even dressed up as Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton from “Talladega Nights” for Halloween one year.

“He’s faced tons of adversity, and that’s what true leaders are, how they handle that adversity. That’s why he’s the captain of that team,” Brady said of Stone. “He’s playing really well right now, and he’s one of the reasons why they’re there.”

Vegas Golden Knights wing Mark Stone celebrates with Brett Howden, obscured at lower left, who scored in overtime against the Dallas Stars during Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals Friday, May 19, 2023, in Las Vegas. The Golden Knights won 4-3.

Vegas Golden Knights wing Mark Stone celebrates with Brett Howden, obscured at lower left, who scored in overtime against the Dallas Stars during Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals Friday, May 19, 2023, in Las Vegas. The Golden Knights won 4-3.

It’s a Stanley Cup Final not short on star power, but it could hinge on how these two play.

Stone has 15 points in 17 games this postseason, his first action after taking three months off following his second back surgery in eight months. The Vegas captain didn’t have a point in Games 3-6 of the Western Conference Final against Dallas but was still an important defensive weapon in slowing down one of the Stars’ top lines.

Opposite Stone is Tkachuk, a Hart Trophy finalist who has been one of the premiere reasons why the Panthers are on this surprising run to the Cup Final. Tkachuk has 21 points in 16 games and has four game-winning goals — three in overtime — these playoffs.

“Knowing him, he thinks it’s not good enough. He wants to be at the end goal,” Brady said of his brother. “I’m not surprised with anything he’s done. All the hard work and the dedication, to see him get rewarded for it … I’m just happy he’s getting put in this situation this type of year where big players step up. He’s definitely one of the best players in the NHL.”

It’s unclear which line between Stone’s or William Karlsson’s will see most of the action on Tkachuk in this series, but look for Stone to get the first shot based on both playing right wing.

“I know the type of person and player that he is,” Stone said. “Very competitive, gets to the net to score his goals, and has underrated playmaking ability. He’s definitely a big guy we’re going to have to circle on the board to limit his chances.”

Both stars are trying to win the first Stanley Cup in their respective franchise’s history. Game 1 will be the start of what’s expected to be a high-octane offensive series with a mix of pristine goaltending.

Once that’s done, everyone will gather for beers and maybe a laugh or two, depending on who wins.

“Just along for the ride and excited to watch the atmospheres in both cities,” Brady said.

Golden Knights-Panthers Game 1, Stanley Cup Final

Time: 5 p.m.

Where: T-Mobile Arena


Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM

Odds: Golden Knights -135, Panthers +115; O/U 5.5 (Westgate SuperBook)

Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun