Bob McKenzie was in Penticton this past weekend. While TSN didn’t cover the Young Stars Classic tournament in astounding depth, McKenzie did have a chance to chat with the general managers in attendance.
Of note for Flames fans was McKenzie’s 31-minute chat with Brad Treliving. While we heartily encourage you to watch the entire thing, as McKenzie is a great interviewer and Treliving has a tendency to reveal a lot with his lengthy answers, we attempted to distill the half-hour into five digestible morsels.
to take a step forward. We’ve talked a lot over the summer. It was a
really good year for us, but we did some things in ways that I don’t
think you can expect to duplicate, so we’ve got to take a step and
we’ve got to get better.”
Treliving noted that they can’t be pre-occupied with thoughts about being able to replicate last season’s results – their season ended in the second round, so they feel they need to be better. He praised Bob Hartley and the coaching staff for being the driver of the team’s success last season.
ON POSSESSION STATS
into the year, we wanted to be able to hold onto the puck longer and
spend less time in our zone, more time in the offensive zone. So,
there’s a little bit of a style of play, an adjustment there, but
also in personnel – maturation, growth, those types of things. No
question, you have to dig in, look at the data, try to learn from it
from a certain extent, but we feel we’ve improved ourselves and
hopefully we’re going to give ourselves the best chance moving
They’re aware of (a) how bad their Corsi numbers were last season and (b) how improbable their success was, in regards to late-game comebacks and their high shooting percentage. And they seem to think they’ve addressed lots of that, through internal progression of their younger players and the additions of Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik. (Treliving specifically mentioned the younger players and alluded to the additions improving that aspect of the team while discussing the defensive group and Frolik’s arrival in different sections.)
ON SAM BENNETT
not going to over-burden him with any expectations or dump him into
the deep end right from day one. He’s got to find his game at his
Treliving elaborated on the plan to start Bennett at center a bit, pointing out that the team’s depth with Sean Monahan, Mikael Backlund and Matt Stajan really helps with easing Bennett into things.
not a need for him to be overwhelmed, there’s not a need to put him
in situations where he may or may not have success.”
ON GAUDREAU & MONAHAN
had initial talks with both players. Probably the best answer, Bob,
is ‘we’ll see.’ We’ll kind of get into the season. Both are big parts
of this time, are going to be big parts of this team in the future.
Talent like that…and like you said, the careers that they’ve had
thus far, they’ll probably be looking for good raises.”
McKenzie joked that meant they’ll be expensive deals and Treliving chuckled and repeated “we’ll see.” Treliving referred to the duo as “cornerstone pieces” in their chat.
- Treliving’s really happy with their depth: it was specifically mentioned in regards to center, goaltending and on the blueline.
- Emile Poirier, Drew Shore and Bill Arnold were mentioned as young players that could push for spots.
- He referred to Michael Frolik both as a “Swiss army knife” and as a “line fixer.”
- Treliving noted that he was pleased that the Oilers got Connor McDavid, because it pushes the Flames to be better. (He reiterated that the league isn’t easy and isn’t supposed to be easy.)