Brad Treliving: ‘We’re gonna cheer like crazy for the Dallas Stars’

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:

Somehow, the trade got even better.

  • beloch

    The Flames have cashed out on their two biggest UFA’s, gotten good value for them, and Treliving may not be done yet according to SN, although I have no idea what could be holding up an announcement for this long.

    Meanwhile, Vancouver did absolutely nothing with pending UFA’s Vrbata and Hamhuis.

    Feels good man. Feels good.

  • PrairieStew

    You can see that salary really played into the deals when Stempniak netted the exact same return as Hudler. Hudler obviously a better player, but $4m annual vs less than $1m. That may explain why no one was interested in Jones.

    It is kind of disappointing that the Flames weren’t able to move either of their UFA goalies. Obviously Ramo’s injury is a killer.

    It is going to be tough to move salary in the offseason, so the Flames might be sellers again next year – with at least Wideman, Engelland, Smid (if healthy), Bollig, Raymond plus any guys signed to one year deals (goalies again plus some of the RFA’s)

  • Jake the Snail

    LOL It is like the Canucks went to the 7th game of a series with the Flames and lost when the puck bounced in off Hamhuis!

    Russell better option for Dallas…Hamhuis was really reluctant to leave Vancouver mid-season.

    • beloch

      Backstrom is 38 and has a sv% of 0.887. His cap hit is $3.4M and he’s a pending UFA. That side of the deal looks like a pure salary dump to me, although who can really tell with the circus side-show that goal-tending has been for the Flames this year.

      Given that Jones is decent and Backstrom has negative value, I hope the pick is decent.

      Edit: If it really is a sixth rounder, that’s rather disappointing. Not a good return for Jones. Then again, maybe it was time for Treliving to lose a trade so other GM’s will still talk to him.

      • smatic10

        Getting anything for a player that isn’t going to be re-signed is always a win. If we didn’t take back that Backstrom contract, this deal would not have happened and I’m assuming no other deal was on the table with any other team for Jonesy. Smart move by Treliving.

      • McRib

        “If it really is a sixth rounder, that’s rather disappointing.”

        4-7 Rounders for the most part historically are worth the exact same 8-10% of the time they pan out, some years the sixth round produces more NHLers than the fourth. There is a big drop off after the Top. 3 Rounds (we weren’t getting a Top. 3 Round Pick for Jones)….

        Freeing up some ice time to see a Grant, Agostino down the stretch is solely worth getting rid of Jones for me, but a 6th Rounder is fine.

  • Jake the Snail

    According to Eric Francis: No, the Flames won’t try to re-sign Backstrom as a UFA this summer. Just a paper shuffle. He hasn’t played since Jan 15.

  • Baalzamon

    Really inconsistent returns in trades this year. Purcell and McGinn go for the same price? Lots of interest in Russell, but Hamhius becomes immovable once Russell is traded? Pirri for a sixth round pick? Devante Smith (a decent depth forward) goes for Stefan Matteau (a bad prospect)? John-Michael Liles gets two picks and a prospect?

    Minnesota moving Backstrom is puzzling to me. He’s on the last year of his contract, and he isn’t playing. Why not ride it out? They’ve already paid most of his salary for the last year, anyway.

  • piscera.infada


    Minnesota moving Backstrom is puzzling to me. He’s on the last year of his contract, and he isn’t playing. Why not ride it out? They’ve already paid most of his salary for the last year, anyway.

    It’s pretty much only cap-space. Minnesota has none.

  • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

    Go to Canucks army (or whatever it’s called) and read that fan base losing its mind….. good times. The fact that we moved Hudler and Russell, and they could not move either Vrbata or Hamhuis is a prime example of what a competent GM can do for a club… hats off to BT.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    I did mention in past posts that Benning and pals were incompetent and this incompetency cannot and should not taint pal Willie. Willie is a good coach of a mismanaged club.

    • Baalzamon

      I will say this about Benning: it’s not a defense exactly, but it is sort of.

      Most of his moves look bad right off the bat, but often the players he moves out flop immediately (Nick Bonino in particular).

      • piscera.infada

        Yeah. Benning has a difficult job. I mean, I’m pretty sure he’d love to just trade everything and rebuild the team, but he’s hamstrung by two ageing 7 million dollar players, whom if he wanted to trade (because they would have value), would both have to be traded to the same team.

        Add to the fact that the defense core of that team has been basically non-existent since their run to the cup (save for a couple intriguing pieces like Tanev and Hutton).

        They’re basically exactly what the Flames were in 2009-2011. Bad, but not bad enough.

        Benning has made some horrible moves and signings, but that organization was driven into the ground before he even got there. He’s very much playing the “Feaster-role”–and that guy’s never popular. Add to that the fact that the Aquilini’s are notorious for interference, and you have an even worse situation.

        Just don’t let Weisbrod take a trip in any snowstorms any time soon… Or do, I don’t care.