Can Brad Treliving really make a deal for 3rd overall?

We all speculate on trades. Most of the time, fan proposals never come to fruition; after all, what do we know? We aren’t hockey executives. We usually don’t have inside knowledge and we definitely don’t have the ability to trade anybody.

And that’s fair, because a lot of fan proposals end up being heavily lopsided. You’re so focused on what you want your team to get and what you don’t want them to give up that you force a trade idea, logic be damned.

But then, sometimes things that shouldn’t happen in real life… do.


If the Flames want the third overall pick, I’m not sure if it isn’t within Brad Treliving’s powers to get it at little cost to his team.

Treliving’s trades so far

In his two years as a general manager, Brad Treliving has made a handful of trades. Among them:

  • Corban Knight for Drew Shore
  • Curtis Glencross for a second and third round pick
  • Sven Baertschi for a second round pick (Rasmus Andersson)
  • Two third round picks for a second round pick (Oliver Kylington)
  • A conditional seventh rounder (aka nothing) for Freddie Hamilton
  • Future considerations (aka nothing) for Kevin Poulin
  • Jiri Hudler for a second and fourth rounder
  • Kris Russell for Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock, and a second round pick that was one win away from becoming a first
  • David Jones for Niklas Backstrom and a sixth round pick

That isn’t a list of all of Treliving’s trades to date – we’ll get into the rest shortly – but it’s the majority of what he’s done. Some are a bit more notable than others, but for the most part, these are deals that range from okay to pretty good. 

The worst of this bunch for the Flames was, in theory, Baertschi for a second round pick – but that was after Baertschi’s value had tanked (a factor that had nothing to do with Treliving), and he made pretty good use of that second rounder he got back.

The main point to establish in that list of trades is: not one of them looks bad for the Flames. There is no downgrade in value. The Flames dealt pieces they either had to (trade deadline) or wanted to, and got, at minimum, fair value for each of their returns.

The first trade made under Treliving’s watch – a third round pick for Brandon Bollig – is the only exception to that rule. One out of 10 trades, and only one of them you can really look at and wish the Flames hadn’t done.

And that’s without getting into the two trades I’ve left off.

Wait, how did he do that?

Draft day, 2015. We’re roughly four hours away from Connor McDavid-fest when all of a sudden, Dougie Hamilton is coming to Calgary.

For what? We don’t know. That information takes a bit longer to come out. Bruins fans are hoping for a big return because we’re talking about a huge, young, top four defenceman, and that’s what they should have been getting.

Treliving got him for a mid-first round pick and two seconds.

That was it. I was anticipating at least a middling prospect, maybe a Tyler Wotherspoon, to be going the other way as well. But nope, not even that – just a couple of picks, any of which we would have been delighted with if they had turned into another Hamilton, but without the guarantee.

That trade made no sense and I still don’t quite get it to this day. Lopsided trade proposals come from wanting your team to get the best player possible without really giving up anything of value; Treliving turned that into a reality roughly a year into the job.

Then there was acquiring Hunter Shinkaruk for Markus Granlund. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop – a pick? Another prospect? An okay roster player? – but nope, just a one-for-one swap. The Flames somehow got a younger player under team control longer with greater upside for the opposite in Granlund. And then they went on to score the same number of points in the NHL after the trade, only Shinkaruk did it in nine fewer games.

It makes no sense. I would never have predicted that trade happening; even after it had happened I was left questioning, “That seriously can’t be it, can it?” And yet it was.

You can make up whatever excuses you want – the popular ones seem to be that Don Sweeney and Jim Benning are maybe not the greatest – but either way, those trades probably shouldn’t have happened. And yet…

In Treliving we trust

Look, that’s not a great slogan, but it’s alliterative so I’m sticking with it.

And also because it’s true. Hiccups from his first few months aside, there has been virtually no reason to question Treliving’s trade abilities. Most have been fair deals easy to see the logic in; two have been so impressive it’s still kind of hard to believe they happened.

I don’t know what it’s going to take to get the Blue Jackets’ third overall pick. I don’t know how serious they are about dealing it. I don’t know what their main sticking point is, if the Flames will be able to find some way to manoeuvre cap differences to make a deal work, if there’s even a deal at all to be had.

What I do know is that if there is a deal, Treliving should, at minimum, get fair value – or he might even go the distance a third time and complete a wildly improbable deal that sees his club lose assets that didn’t really have a future here anyway. Because Bollig two years ago aside, Treliving really hasn’t done anything to indicate he’d get fleeced in a deal.

I wouldn’t have predicted the Hamilton or Shinkaruk trades. Probably nobody would have.

So this isn’t a post to say “stop speculating on what it would take.” Speculate away! It’s more a post to say that the Flames have a damn good general manager at the helm, and if a deal happens, they’re probably going to come out of it looking rather good. And if Treliving is on and Kekalainen is off, there’s a chance we may be speculating the Flames giving up too much.

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  • flamesburn89

    I find it interesting how many times we’ve heard that Backlund is not a true top 6 forward by some, yet quite a few of the trade proposals over the last couple days have him being dealt to CBJ or VAN as a #2 centre.

    • MontanaMan

      I’ve never called Backlund a top 6 forward or a #2 centre but if he can be packaged for the #3 pick, I’ll call him the greatest centre in the history of the Calgary Flames.

    • Kevin R

      After this year he will be a 3rd line centre on Calgary but he would be a 2nd line centre on a number of teams. Depends what team you are talking about. On Columbus, heck, he would probably be their top centre after they traded Johansen.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    At this point nothing will surprise me. If they pick a player that they publicly have not spoken about the I will be amazed. Chychrun would not be my choice. Conroy said that he sees one defender miles ahead of the others….since they emphasize Hockey IQ…I have to think it is Joulevi.

  • freethe flames

    The question for me is who else is out there who would be involved in a bidding war? How much would that drive the price up? Which of teams below Columbus have what they are looking for, a top pick, a center and cap space? Edmonton- yes, Vancouver(a ? GM), Arizona yes, Buffalo yes, Montreal doubtful, Colorado maybe, NJ yes.

    I’m not sure we have the assets to match what these teams have to offer and if the rewards would outweigh the cost.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Flames are in no position to move up in the draft considering they don’t have many pretty baubles to trade.

    Assuming the Flames refuse to move Bennett, Gaudreau, Monahan, Gio, Brodie, and Hamilton, then there are very few players left on the roster that are of deep interest to other clubs.

    Backs and the 6th will not get you the 3rd.

    Frolik and the 6th will not get you the 3rd.

    Frolik might also be a hard player to move because of his fat contract.

    Any of or a combination of farmers plus the 6th will not get you the 3rd.

    All the second round picks plus the 6th will get you the third.

    It is far more probable that the Flames drop down in this draft than move up, and I could see that happen if it meant the Flames could unload in whole or in part Wideman’s or Stajan’s bad contracts.

  • freethe flames

    Before the Flames could meet the criteria of the Blue Jackets they will need to move some salary. I was thinking of which teams they might be able to trade Wideman to. Here are 4 that I think might work with a brief explanation why:

    Bruins(it was rumored that a deal was almost done at the TD so it’s a good place to start): They can probably make it fit their cap space, they could use a veteran RHD who can play PP, and they could use a 3rd or 4th round pick.

    Panthers: they were a playoff team and so Wide’s might be willing to go there, they can probably make it work via cap space, need for a veteran defender(Campbell and Mitchell are both older and UFA’s and Wides cap hit might be less), they could also use a 3rd rounder

    Arizona: they have plenty of cap space and might need a contract to meet the floor, need for a veteran defender, the issue is what would be an incentive for them? Swap of 6 for 7? Swap of second rounders?

    NJD: they have cap space, need for a veteran defender, again like Arizona what do they need that we have? Swap of order in the draft, a Bouma or a Ferland?

    I also believe there are more traditional hockey deals available to move Wides and some of these could include the above teams but in order to make a hockey deal and move most of his salary we should expect to lose the hockey part or it will need to be a package deal.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      Some good insight. I agree you start with Boston. My big concern with Wideman is what has he been doing during the off season. He had an embarrassing year on all fronts so I don’t expect him to be sitting idlely while younger players try to take his job. If he started to train like Gio and got his speed up, I might keep him until the trade deadline. I would not put Ferland in any of the packages until I see what a new coach does with him.

      • everton fc

        Agree on Ferland, We’ve seen Bouma’s ceiling. Not Ferland’s…

        The Devils would be an interesting trade partner. Don’t the Bruins have cap issues, as well? As for Arizona, a glance at their depth on defence – young depth, I might add, with a few vets… Can’t see the need.

        Florida may have a need… If you could move him for a draft pick, why give up anything more? Mitchell’s 38, Campbell 36… They’d be nuts to re-sign them.

      • freethe flames

        First I wonder how he has recovered from his injury? The problem with keeping him until the trade deadline is cap space, we need it now. The cap space is needed for trades, our own FA issues and if we want any chance of looking for FA. As for Ferland I don’t really want to move him but I could see his name being sought after by other teams. Until we hear what BT is going to do with the other buy out candidates the team remains limited. I also think those same teams might be a destination for Eng’s as a stay at home veteran D with a less onerous cap hit.

  • Given the above comment therefore i do think Hartnell + 6th + one of the 2nd rders gets the deal done if CBJ really is depserate and doesn’t like JP. They get to draft the guy they want 3 spots lower, plus get a contract off the books, and get an added 2nd rd selection. That’s more than fair.

  • Theo4HoF

    Colombus ain’t gonna trade their pick. Every year there are rumors of high picks potentially being traded and it never happens. No body in the top 10 are trading their picks so speculate all you want nothing is gonna happen.