Notes From Brad Treliving’s Press Conference

After a busy July 1 that saw his club sign Michael Frolik, Karri Ramo and Derek Grant, and acquire a conditional pick for Max Reinhart, Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving addressed the assembled media at the Scotiabank Saddledome earlier this afternoon.

In case you missed it, here’s what he had to say.

Treliving shared that he wanted to address defense and right-wing, organizationally and they added Dougie Hamilton at the draft and Michael Frolik through free agency. Goaltending had been a topic of conversation, and they had looked at different options: he felt that retaining Karri Ramo strengthens and stabilizes the position. He said adding Derek Grant gives them depth in the organization. They traded Reinhart to Nashville to give him an opportunity elsewhere. He wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the conditions on the pick, but noted it was a fourth rounder (if the conditions were met).

On what Michael Frolik brings to the table:

He’s like a Swiss army knife, that’s probably the best way to describe him. He’s able to bounce all over your line-up. He plays in the guts of the game. Strong penalty killer, plays with a lot of pace. We’ve watched him closely obviously this year and over the last few years. He’s sort of one of those unheralded guys who does a lot of heavy lifting and doesn’t necessarily seem to get the accolades, but I look at him as a guy that really is an important guy to help you win.

On Frolik’s size and his ability to play “big”:

Playing big doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be six-six. You can play a heavy game, a strong game. And today’s game is so much about small space, compete areas, and I think he’s excellent in those types of situations.

The Flames didn’t cast a bit net in terms of looking at free agents. Trevliving said they focused in on Frolik specifically.

On the off-season additions addressing the team’s puck possession:

We want to hold onto the puck more, we want to create more offense. Not only to create offense, but the more you have it the less you have to defend. The less bad things happen when you have the puck. So yeah, they fit on a number of levels, and that was obviously one area we wanted to see if we could upgrade.

On the team’s depth after the past week of moves:

We don’t play a game for a long time. There’s still tweaking to do. I’m really happy with the group we’ve got right now. It opens up some different opportunities, some different possibilities. More so, it opens up some competition for jobs. If you feel you’ve got to add or you want to add a Michael Frolik, you look at what does that create roster-wise and again, that may facilitate us doing something down the road. You have to spell all those things out before you get into the acquisiton phase and say, okay what does this look like. I like that we’ve got a lot of good players. I think we’ve got a good blend of different things. We’ve filled some needs. By no means are we “there,” but it’s a good competitive group and will make for a good competitive training camp.

On changing expectations after the season and the past week of moves:

We told our team this on locker clean-out day, I talked about we all have to be better. It starts with me. What we accomplished last year was nice, but ultimately it’s just a step. The fact that we had the season we had is going to raise expectations. That’s just human nature. We can’t shy away from those. If we all want to be good, this is what happens when you want to be good: there’s more expected, there’s more pressure, there’s all those types of things, and we’ve got to start living like a team that wants to be good.

  • Greg

    Thing I found most interesting when asked about 3 goaltenders was he said “well were a long way from camp”. I think they’ll be looking to make a move there still.

  • Greg

    BT has done a tremendous job these past two weeks in trades and in the draft, as well as in the PR department. I still believe a couple more adds are possible if the price is right, but his primary goal over the next couple of months is going to be to whittle down a few of our forward and D depth, especially the less-than-desirable contracts.

    I’d like to see one of Smid/Engelland shipped out, plus one goalie and 1-2 forwards to get to more manageable numbers and open some opportunities for prospects that are close to making the jump.

    Next big thing is Development Camp next week then a couple month’s hiatus while I turn my attention to the Stampeders.

  • redhot1

    BT has done a tremendous job trading for and then signing Dougie; inking Frolic; and re-signing Backs and Brodie at a tremendous price point.

    Isn’t the next order of business clearing some of the less useful pieces who are making more than they should? Hopefully he can pull some minor trades in this regard and clear out some space so the organization can continue to strengthen the team on the ice.

    So impressed with his recent body of work.

  • beloch

    I think we’re in a two goalie league, you know, in terms of you need more than one guy. If your last name’s not Price or Lundqvist, or some of the other top guys out there, just the schedule, the way the game’s played now… The standings are so close. Maybe a few years ago you say, “we’re playing a back to back and we’re going stick in our backup goaltender”, and you’re gonna play 12-14 games like that. That’s 24-28 points on the line. The ability to give yourself the best chance in net every night is critical, and all three guys do that.

    I don’t envision the situation where we’re going to go the next ten months carrying three goal-tenders. It still gives us options. We still have those players. We still have the capital of those players.

    It sounds like Treliving really wanted to (and still wants to) improve the Flames’ goal-tending. He was in the scrum for Talbot but that didn’t pan out, so he re-signed Ramo. This is smart. I’ve been saying I’d like to see Ramo re-signed and Hiller traded. Ramo was not as good as Hiller last season, but he was close and has more upside. Meanwhile, in a better market Hiller would have brought back a nice return.

    Going forward, Treliving made it clear he considers Ortio a NHL goalie. My read on that is that it’s not a sure thing that Ortio will start in the AHL. The Flames might carry three goalies for a while, and trade whoever doesn’t come out on top. Alternatively, if Ortio does start the season in the AHL, the plan might be to sell Hiller or Ramo mid-season if a good offer can be found and then bring Ortio up for good. Either way, the Flames aren’t rolling the dice on an un-tested backup, nor are they letting a player walk without bringing in a return.

    So, expect changes in net. They might come this summer or they might not come until well into the season, but they’re coming

  • Willi P


    I do expect changes in net. My guess is Hiller really rocked the boat during the playoffs and/or at the end of the year. I think they were okay with Ortio but not Hiller. I expect Hiller to be traded and if they can’t, he will be the one assigned to the AHL before losing Ortio for nothing. Just my 2 cents, we will see.

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      Yup, Ortio is subject to waivers like the other two but cheaper and younger so if all 3 play good in pre-season but Hiller not traded by then I bet he is sent to AHL and perhaps you don’t even lose him as he costs a fair bit

  • Bob's Hockey Stick

    I like the signing’s done today. Ramo’s was more insurance on having a plan B since they didn’t land either talbot or jones that the Flames were rumoured to have been in on but didn’t trade for. I also think Hiller’s on his way out. It’s a matter of when not if.

    with 6 mill left in cap space. I doubt were going to add too much more.If anything I’m hoping it’s addition by subtraction methods.

    Keep up the excellent work BT.

  • OKG

    Is it me or was Brad Treliving’s performance this past week emblematic of the Flames’ whole season?

    Everyone would have been happy with a bottom 5 finish for the Flames last season, with progression from their young players.

    We know how that story played out.

    Similarly, most of us would have been happy if BT just stayed the course and didn’t make any bad deals.

    After all, this was the GM who traded a 3rd rounder for Bollig and signed Engelland for 2.9 million for 3 seasons.

    But instead, he’s made great move after great move. Trade for Hamilton, sign Hamilton, sign Frolik.

    Just like I’m really excited to see how the Flames progress this year, I’m really looking forward to seeing how BT handles his next big move: signing Gio!

  • SydScout

    All the comments here echo something unsaid. None of us could have expected, done or even envisioned what BT has achieved these past few days. He is exceptional, and we are very fortunate as fans to have him steer the ship.

    Credit has to be given to BB here too as unpopular as that may be. He’s set this structure up, and managed it well. Whether he has been involved in negotiations or just got out of BTs way, his structure has worked. Worked magic – I can’t believe that our team is the envy of the league. It’s like a fans nirvana, winning awards for well liked coaches and players, team making second round dumping the Canucks on the way, players seemingly top class individuals, management doing the impossible – how lucky are we that its our guys?!!

    • Willi P

      Yes indeed, it was Burkie who hired the Assistant GM from the Phoenix organization and not a retread fired GM from another team (for which a compensatory draft pick is required). BT has been worth every penny he is being paid. Hope he can unload Burkie’s disaster aquisitions of Bollig, Raymond. I would rather keep Jones and Engelland than those two.

      Also I am happy that Kessel got traded….no more “let’s trade for Kessel” posts here. (Although if he has a 50 goal year…..)lol

      • TX Flame

        Totally agree on the Kessel trade suggestions. He’s not what we needed here. That being said, I think he’s a great fit for the Pens. He can just score goals and do his thing while working in Sid and Geno’s shadows. None of the pressure and scrutiny he had in TO and nobody expecting him to be the leader of the team. He also makes them a more balanced team. They desperately needed more talent on the wings.

    • Willi P

      Also credit is due to the Flames organization (Ken King or the owners?) for hiring Burkie. Everyone in the Hockey World thought that he would want to be in the spotlight, yadayada..

      Burkie has worked out well, although his Public dressing down of Sven still sticks in my craw. But even then it may be the best thing that happened to Sven too!

  • The GREAT Walter White

    Everyone seems really happy with the Frolik signing.

    Seems like a lot for a third line player.
    Too much term too.

    He has played with really talented players in his career and not produced much offence.

    I was personally hoping for a little more high end.

    It seems we have lots of these type of players already.

    The guys on tsn said it was the best signing of the day…… I’ll take their word for it I guess.


    • beloch

      Read this. Frolik is signed for less than comparable players in the league get, which is nothing short of amazing given that he was a UFA, especially in a summer with a relatively weak UFA crop of forwards. Term is probably how Treliving sold the deal, but Frolik should still be good by the time he’s 32.

      • The GREAT Walter White

        No signing at all may have been better.

        What does Frolik give us that Jooris, Byron, Bouma,Ramond (yes even the FN goat ) don’t? Throw backlund in there too.

        Not to mention Ferland who is trending much higher.

        I’m probably forgetting a few.


        • Truculence

          In one word: possession. Only Backlund is capable of the heavy-lifting Frolik has done for every team he has played for. He starts more often in the D-zone but nevertheless out-chances the opposition. He had 19 goals last year. Here`s hoping Backlund and him can both approach the 20 goal mark playing with one another. If they can do that in the difficult circumstances they are obviously going to face, watch out; the Flames will be a contender.

        • The GREAT Walter White

          20 goals and 40+ PTS a year while being defensively sound and improving our possession game significantly.

          Loosen your sphincter Walter, enjoy the fact we’re building and bringing in talent rather than selling the farm with years and years of pain ahead like a lot of franchises are doing right now

          • everton fc

            He’s put up 20 Gino’s or close to 20 everywhere he’s played except for when he was used primarily on the 4th line in Chicago due to their insane depth at forward.

            Get your facts straight Walter, lay off the sauce and loosen your sphincter!!!

        • mattyc

          Frolik is good fora consistent 40 pts a season. Only Backlund (in that group) has that kind of track record (and even he has had problems with injuries hitting those numbers). Not to mention Frolik is very good defensively, and a possession machine.

          Great signing, term is right, and age is good as well.

    • everton fc

      Isn’t this what they said about Hudler (he is actually not that high end, as he has played with really talented players in his career) when they brought him in?

  • beloch

    It would seem most people are pretty happy with Treliving right now. Any single transaction a GM makes could be a fluke but, when you string together the Hamilton trade, the draft, and Frolik, a pattern of competence begins to emerge.

    Sooner or later Treliving has to do something dumb. At the very least he has to say something dumb. After the last decade in Alberta, it’s hard to believe competence can even exist in NHL management! What the hell is going on here!? Even the Oilers have been having a good off season so far!

    This is making me nervous…

    • beloch

      If the price is right on Franson they could trade Wideman to create cap space. Things might get tight the season after next though.

      I’d be very surprised if the Flames actually acquire Franson. His contract is going to be ridiculous for a second pairing defender.

    • Rockmorton65

      Interesting. Bring in Franson at 5ish. Move out Wideman to whoever missed out on Green/Franson. Essentially swap Franson for Wideman.


      I wonder if BT has one more magic trick in him.

      • beloch

        How much better is Franson that the Wideman who played the last 1/4 of the season and the playoffs. Younger yes, better?

        i’m trying to rack my brain but who did Spoon play with 2 years ago when he looked like an NHLer?

        If you are going to break Gio and Brodie up, I think you need to look at Brodie and Hamilton. Gio with the other alternative.

    • BurningSensation

      My understanding, per Friedman, is that Treliving was the most active GM since the season ended, (specifically it was reported that Treliving and the Flames were on Sweeney about Hamilton immediately after the finals finished), and that the Flames brass took a good look at just about everyone.

      @Walter White

      Frolik was a relatively high pick by Florida before the analytics age hit full swing. When he didn’t flash first line offense he was dealt to Chicago who insisted he would have to learn to love life as a depth winger.

      In Winnipeg the Jets discovered they had a versatile winger with good speed and size who could play up and down the lineup and drive posssession, but for whom big offensive totals were never going to be a calling card.

      Which is why he is often compared to Backlund, and also why it is expected he could be the perfect compliment to Backlund on a hard minutes line.

      • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

        I suspect that Frolik will be given the opportunity to play with and protect Bennett to start the season although a Bouma/Backlund/Frolik line would be an awesome shut down unit that would drive possession and create their won offense. He could even be used with Johnny and Mony and let Hudler be with Bennett.

        This team now has options which is a good thing. However it still has work to do? They need to do some housekeeping which includes dealing with signing their own RFA’s, creating some contract space and create opportunity by looking to move some of Bollig, Raymond, England and by having Smid on LTIR and getting the long term deal done with Gio.

        Looking at the lineup their are interesting options:

        Johnny/Mony/Hudler could play any situation but get a high level of OZ.

        Raymond(Ferland)/Bennett/Frolik offensive zone starts.

        Bouma/Backs/Jones(Byron) could drive possession and get Dzones starts. Against anyline

        Colborne(Byron)/Stajan/Jooris(Shore) defensive zone starts against 2nd lines.

  • First Name Unidentified

    It feels so good finally to have a real management team running your favourite hockey franchise. BT seems like he’s been involved in asset management in the past and is doing an amazing job which the Flames fans have been deprived of for decades! Obviously his dad being such a successful businessman helps as he’s been exposed to business deals growing up.

    Also so nice to see the newspaper bully (King) stay out of the On-ice product management.

    Great work all around and I think I’m more excited for the upcoming season than I was last season. A full year of, hopefully, Bennett, Hamilton, Gio, Backs, Ferland, frolik, and hopefully Poirier would be a treat to watch. Also hoping the other stars produce at the same clip or better.


  • everton fc

    Treliving did well today. We are a far better team than we were at the end of the 2nd round of the playoffs.

    I still think we need to address the left side more than goal. Perhaps you move Hiller for this purpose and go with Ortio/Ramo. Or move Ramo for the same purpose….

    I still hope they sign Schlemko and 86 at least Smid and Engelland’s contracts. Cutting loose the likes of Raymod and Bollig would be nice, too, but I think the latter sticks around. The former moves if someone’s interested, as we have Byron who can play the left side and, even though he’s smaller, his game is much “bigger” than Raymond’s.

    The fact Frolik can play both wing and centre is a great bit of flexibilty. Why they like Colborne, I think. Maybe even Byron. Bouma. Jooris.

    Off topic; the Nucks trading Kassian and a pick for Prust. What’s Benning doing out there?

    • Bananaberg

      Raymond, Bollig, and a 5th rounder to Arizona for a 4th rounder might be a nice way to dish off 2 one-way contracts that don’t belong in the starting lineup.

      Arizona still needs to sign a few RFAs, so they’ll be above the cap floor, but they might be interested in Raymond in the meantime.

      Would be willing to sweeten the deal for them as well — we have zero reason for these two guys to take roster spots away from young guys competing for a spot in the National League.

  • First Name Unidentified

    The following names would not be in the NHL in a couple of years: Jones, Colbourne, Bollig, Raymond. Basically non-NHL players currently occupying a roaster spot on the team and taking opportunities away from more capable younger guys like Poirier, Arnold, Ferland.

    Cut them loose right now because I don’t think there’s a trade value for any of them out there. Just do it! Buy them out and stare at an amazing roster of young skilled players that never sported a flames jersey in a long while. Flames and skill have been strangers for a long time until recently, thanks to BT

  • TheoForever

    Flames are not unloading both Bollig and Engelland, because our smaller players would be eating through a straw. At this point there is nothing wrong with keeping a functional tough guy like Engs.

    Frolik was a good signing, we are making the playoffs.

  • everton fc

    BT has been the most active GM because as the western farmers would say “cut the hay while the sun shines “. The Flames are coming off a successful season with many up sizes to sell when making offers to FAs and trades this year. There is something good going on in Calgary and that is the time to get active with the best deals available. Good Job Flames management and having more players and assets is a nice problem to have moving forward.

  • PrairieStew

    I think another move or 2 is out there. We agree that selling high on Wideman is probably a decent idea. Could he be moved with salary retained for one year? What about retaining salary on Hiller? If the Flames think Gilles only needs one year in the minors, could Ortio be included in a package for a young high quality forward? Run with the 2 vets this year again?

    I see Frolik with Bennett on the secondary scoring unit but don’t think that having them drag Raymond or Colborne along is ideal.

    So, there’s the package, Ortio, Wideman( with 2.5 retained ) and Colborne. What roster player could be had? Jeff Skinner? Gustav Nyquist? Nino Niederieter?