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.
So, I tried the Dougie Hamilton trade in NHL 15.
Here was the answer from Boston… pic.twitter.com/i82flAYlAx
— Christian Roatis (@CRoatis) June 26, 2015
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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