Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving has been a busy man of late, as is his reputation. While the Flames executive has yet to make a big transaction to bolster his hockey club, he’s been seen out and about throughout the rinks of Ontario during the past week.
In addition to Elliotte Friedman noting that Treliving had been scouting OHL games in the area (it’s going to be a very OHL-heavy draft this year), he was also spotted in a couple of NHL arenas.
— Murray Pam (@Pammerhockey) December 15, 2015
— Steve Dangle Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) December 16, 2015
(For reference, Todd Woodcroft is a pro scout for the Flames.)
There are two or three general reasons a general manager (and the president of hockey operations and a pro scout) attend a game:
- Advance scouting teams the Flames will play this season.
- Scouting potential trade partners that are playing in that game.
- Talking to other executives that are in the building about potential moves.
Let’s run those down, shall we?
- Advance scouting? The Flames have already played Ottawa and Tampa Bay once each, and haven’t played Toronto or Los Angeles at all yet. Scouting Los Angeles in particular seems a key priority given how bad the Pacific has been and the necessity for the Flames to pick up points in-division if they want to make it.
- Trade partners? The Flames still need goaltending and could be a potential landing spot for Jonathan Bernier. Similarly, there’s probably some level of interest in David Jones, Jiri Hudler and/or Kris Russell in Ottawa, Los Angeles, Toronto and Tampa Bay.
- Talking to other executives? While we’d need to cross-reference the press box seating chart, which we do not have, based on Treliving’s reputation as a guy that kicks tires and talks to other executives frequently, this definitely has something to do with his attendance at the games.
In short: I don’t necessarily think that the general manager’s attendance at these games is a sign that moves are forthcoming, but I do think they’re part of the process of eventually finding new homes for a few pending free agents and maximizing their value as assets.
That said, aside from perhaps Jonathan Bernier, I don’t see too many obtainable pieces on the four teams that played in the games that Treliving viewed that could immediately solve many of Calgary’s deficiencies.
Are there any players on the Kings, Senators, Lightning or Leafs besides Bernier that the Flames should be pursuing? Sound off in the comments!