Report: Flames were among the teams that were ‘in on’ bidding for Cody Franson

The strength of this surprisingly formidable, Cinderella iteration of the Calgary Flames team lies in their youth and along their blue-line. 

Sometimes a club is best served by looking to address their weaknesses (offensive skill, in Calgary’s case) and other times it makes sense to double down on your strengths. Of course, sometimes you get an opportunity to both at the same time, which is probably why the Flames were involved in the bidding for Toronto Maple Leafs defender Cody Franson – since traded to the Nashville Predators – according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Here’s what Dreger said about Calgary’s interest in Franson on TSN 1260 radio on Tuesday morning (H/T to for the transcription):

Well, again – Brad Treliving wants to add. Calgary was one of the teams that was in on Cody Franson. Not to again the degree that the Nashville Predators ended up paying the price in making that deal perhaps a little bit bigger.

Treliving is one of those NHL general managers who believes you can never have too many good defencemen. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see Calgary add in that sense.

The veteran TSN reporter went on to discuss Calgary’s reluctance to part with future assets, like the Predators were forced to do in trading for Franson and Mike Santorelli, within the context of Flames president Brian Burke’s impatience during his tenure with the Maple Leafs.

“(The Flames) have to maintain their path,” Dreger began. “And I think honestly, Brian Burke learned some valuable lessons, even as a veteran executive, during his days in Toronto.

“As he looks back now and he thinks about landing Phil Kessel, and I’m sure he vehemently defends that trade. But the Toronto Maple Leafs are having to full-kick into rebuild mode now, and the Calgary Flames are adhering to the plan to stick with what they have and to add the pieces that make sense.”

Franson is a very good offensive defenseman with oodles of power-play value, but if the Flames were reluctant to part with a prospect and a first-round pick for his services, that would seem sensible. As good as Franson is, he would be something of a redundant piece on a team that already employs capable 5-on-4 options like Dennis Wideman and T.J. Brodie.

We shouldn’t be surprised that the Flames decided to chase Franson based on Treliving’s insistence that he’ll be “cautiously aggressive” heading into the March 2 NHL trade deadline. Nor should be shocked that they weren’t willing to pay the price that Nashville inevitably did. 

Presidents’ Trophy and Stanley Cup contenders, the Predators are in a different phase of their rebuilding cycle. Rational self interest would dictate that every marginal improvement the Predators can make to their roster has more value to them, then it would for a Flames team that should still be focused squarely on two- or three- yeaars down the road.

Which is precisely what Treliving has vowed to do.

“We want to be cautiously aggressive in terms of making sure that something that we’re doing isn’t impacting us a year, two, three, and beyond down the road,” Treliving told the Calgary Sun last week, via “But no question, the play of the team and where we are right now (in the standings) lends us to want to help and see if there are things that we can do to help.”

  • everton fc

    It would have been cool to land Franson; but I’m glad Treliving is being cautious and not overpaying for players.

    Franson seems like a bigger Dennis Wideman.

    I still think Yandle is the perfect #3 Defender for Calgary. Bump Russell down for more depth.

    But I’m still not sure if breaking up Russell and Wideman would be a good idea?

  • Cody Franson in a Flames jersey is very intriguing, moreso than Tylers Myers, no doubt. No to any deal involving us parting with a 1st rounder, though, and once again good on BB/BT for not selling the farm for the sake of intrigue.

      • Derzie

        I’d give up a pick just to keep Bollig as a healthy scratch. Kidding aside, Treliving is doing a bang up job toeing the company line but his pickups have been mostly awful. What I do wonder is how much of role Weisbrod played in picking up the gems we have. Last year’s draft under BT looked markedly different (worse) with what I assume to be the same scouting staff. Time will tell.

        • I have said it before and I will say it again: Treliving will be fired/ retired/ re-assigned etc…soon.

          You can say what you want about Burke, but he is not a stupid man; he is fully aware that he made a mistake…..


          • Derzie

            Treliving is Burke’s hire and ticket out of Dodge. Burke is leaving the Flames end of 2016 season if not earlier…..

            Flames record today is outstanding and regardless of who built the team the current regime gets the credit…you would be foolish to think Treliving is gonzo….

          • T&A4Flames

            Why don’t you go over Burke’s draft record in Toronto and tell us how great he is at drafting? End of the day, most GM’s win some and lose some. Kenny Holland is a brilliant hockey man but benefitted from an excellent scouting staff in Europe. Feaster drafted very well and signed some great free agents. Burke has had his share of good and bad draft picks as will Treliving. I think he’ll be fine but will give him 3 years to prove his work.

          • Rockmorton65

            You know, you shouldn’t drink the bong water Wally. The fact that he’s in on almost every situation that could improve the team means nothing? Not pulling the trigger doesn’t mean he’s incompetent, it means he’s disciplined.

            How many times did Sutter or Feaster get bent over hard because they wanted to make “a splash”. I’ll give you a hint – every time they tried to make a deal. Patience, little one, patience.

          • xploD

            We are winning, We are in a race for the playoffs, What do we have to trade that wouldn’t ruin our playoff chances? Glenx? Maybe, depending on a lot of factors, but sure, trade him if possible. Why would he make a trade when we’re in a position where most of our young talent is trending in the right direction, our NHL and AHL teams are doing great. BT has zero reason to do anything unless it makes perfect sense for the long term. He’s clearly been active in looking for players hence all the reports…but it’s hard to make a deal when you have no good vets that have good value that you want to part with and you don’t want to trade away and top A or B prospects.

            I may not be 100% correct but that’s not very hard to think of. A lot more logical and rational then trying to say he’s going to be fired cause he hasn’t made a trade or spent a SINGLE 3rd round pick and it didn’t pan out fully.

            Doing nothing – We’re good.

            Doing something stupid – Stupid.

    • My simple man…you are not judged by the volume of trades but rather the quality of trades but more precisely he will be judged by his performance at the draft table….so far so good…Mason MacDonald is proving to be an outstanding second rounder…18 year old with high development and proven results early in his junior career…..just saying

        • Hey Wally – watch the game last night? Great comeback by the Flames. And guess what? They’re in a wild scrap for a playoff spot. Why don’t you drop the negative posts and enjoy the ride. You might actually see the positive side of this team.

          • Treliving has nothing to do with today’s success of the Flames.

            None of his draft picks have played in the NHL.

            His UFA signings are questionable at best.

            His trades are no existent.

            His coach is…….

            I would have much preferred Feaster and Weisbrod under Burke.

            Sure they made some mistakes; but the fruits of their labour are on display in Calgary right now. Not Treliving’s….


        • Derzie

          QMJHL Stats show that at 0.905 MacDonald is the third best in the Q. And he is almost 2 years younger than the leader!

          How many times do we have to remind WW that the Q is a run and gun league.

          • Rockmorton65

            Let’s not get too excited by one season from McDonald. It’s encouraging that he’s apparently the third best goalie in the QMJHL (and also that he improved over his draft year), but out of all the goalies currently playing in that league, probably two of them will play a single minute of NHL hockey. Does McDonald seem to have a better chance at it at this point than others (like, to pick a name out of the air at random, Zach Fucale)? Sure. But in his draft year, Fucale had a .909 sv%. He’s regressed every year since.

            It’s far too soon to judge the 2014 draft. At this point, it looks much better than it did on draft day, but we still won’t know for some time. It would be foolish to fire someone over a draft that happened less than ten months ago.

    • Rockmorton65

      Not making trades is one of the reasons the Flames are successful today. They are building and developing their youth, rather than trading away young players for vets that will leave a year or two later. Treliving’s patience is setting the team up for success in the future. There’s no point in making a trade just to say you made a trade. Sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make.

  • RKD

    Smart move BT, I don’t think having Franson would have been a bad move. It’s a move I would probably choose over Stewart, Richards, Kane or Kessel. However, not at the price Nashville paid. The Preds are in a totally different situation than us. Poile wants his Preds to win now, so they have the luxury of parting with first round picks. The Flames don’t have that luxury. Especially consider Franson would be a rental anyways.

  • Greg

    I wonder if the FlamesNation folks have advanced stats on their props-to-trashes ratio? i think the comments on this article would be pretty high up there. #wasteoftime #thanksfornothingwalter