Following a not-so-busy trade deadline day, Flames General Manager Brad Treliving spoke at his obligatory press conference, confirming the deal for Kris Russell: Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock, and a conditional second round pick that will turn into a first if the Stars make the conference finals.
He had a lot of praise for the former Flames blueliner, and of course, hopes he brings Dallas to at least two playoff victories. But as he stressed in his presser: the Flames are still rebuilding. This is still about the future.
So thanks for everything, Kris; but now it’s time to focus on Jokipakka, Pollock, and picks and prospects.
“We’re extremely happy,” Treliving said on what the Flames got back for Russell, who apparently had a lot of interest surrounding him. He called Jokipakka “a good player. A young defenceman who fits in our age group. … There’s upside here,” and said he really liked Pollock in his draft year, as did the rest of the Flames staff.
Jokipakka has a “good pedigree”, is big, and does everything on both ends of the ice, according to Treliving; Pollock, meanwhile, is a big body who can play multiple positions and has a knack for scoring – and as we all know, being able to score is pretty crucial.
Treliving also noted he believes the uncertainty of the cap really hindered this trade deadline, making moving salary very difficult. In his opinion, picks and young prospects have become that much more valuable – so for the Flames to sacrifice two established veterans (Jiri Hudler, Russell) and a tweener player (Markus Granlund) and get, in return, two prospects (Hunter Shinkaruk, Pollock), a young player (Jokipakka), and three picks (two second rounders – one perhaps a first – in this year’s draft and a fourth rounder in 2018) is massive.
(As for Hudler, he also said he wasn’t sure if he’d waited until today to trade him the Flames would have been able to get the same return for him.)
But no wonder Treliving is so pleased with how his day went – and this doesn’t count the one remaining trade the Flames still may have coming up, which he hinted involved the Stockton Heat.
Having four picks in the first two rounds is no doubt exciting, particularly as Treliving was emphatic the Flames are still rebuilding. They’re still stockpiling picks and young players, and that was the plan all along. “We weren’t pivoting at 11:30 to say, ‘What about this idea?'” Treliving said. “We had a plan going in.”
Today’s trade deadline spoke to that. Every move made thus far was geared towards the future, bringing in valuable assets.
He also mentioned that while there weren’t that many trades today, there were a lot of discussions – particularly about things that could happen over the summer. We already know Treliving has one good summer under his belt, from acquiring Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik last year, so the prospect of what else could happen at the draft with this man in charge?
Let’s do it – do we even have to play the rest of the season?
And while we’re here, let’s just take a moment to laugh at the Vancouver Canucks:
Benning says DAL deal for Hamhuis was parallel deal to what CAL got for Russell, but Stars chose the Alberta option
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 29, 2016
Somehow, the trade got even better.