What’s left on Brad Treliving’s to-do list?

Following the signings yesterday of winger Troy Brouwer and back-up goaltender Chad Johnson, Calgary Flames General Manager Brad Treliving held court with local media – both in a press conference and more informal scrum setting afterward – and shared some insights into just what might be left on his summer to-do list.

First of all, yes, he’s aware that Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau require contracts and the team has roughly $14.25 million (counting Sam Bennett’s performance bonuses against the cap) to sign that duo (and perhaps a couple more bodies on the NHL roster).

“We know where we’re at,” stated Treliving, regarding their cap space. “We’ve left significant room. Obviously we’ve got two contracts that have to be dealt with, and they will be. In a cap world, we’ve talked about it before, you make decisions and you’ve got to feed 23 mouths. We think what we’ve done in the last week or so is address some real needs for us.”

When he was on with Pat Steinberg and Ryan Pinder on Sportsnet 960 The Fan, Treliving noted that it was being worked on but nothing was imminent. Given his modus operandi has been working on things with very few information leaks and then suddenly we have a flurry of announcements, I suspect that something will be done within a few weeks – though that’s entirely just guesswork based on how he’s worked thus far.

In other news…

Treliving had no update on Ladislav Smid’s status. The defenseman carries a $3.5 million cap hit for next season and seems to have no obvious fit on this team, and he missed a ton of time over the past two seasons due to upper-body (neck) injuries. Given that Smid wasn’t bought out, that indicates either an unwillingness to spend that dough to get rid of him or an inability to do so (e.g., Smid’s still injured). In a related tidbit, Treliving noted to Steinberg and Pinder that they were still talking with Jakub Nakladal – who served as a Smid replacement last season and was really solid. (He was also planning on “circling back” with Josh Jooris.)

He also indicated that he wanted to address Stockton, as it’ll be a young group. The AHL club has lost captain Aaron Johnson (went to Europe), defender Dustin Stevenson (signed with Dallas), Kenny Agostino (signed with St. Louis), Colton Orr (retired), Turner Elson (signed in Colorado), Derek Grant and Bill Arnold (both currently UFAs). That’s a lot of established AHLers that have left them, so they’ll probably need to get some kind of veteran presence in there.

That said, Treliving noted that he doesn’t expect training camp to be cut-and-dry:

“I like having competition, and I think we have some people that are
pushing for jobs, but I think competition’s a good thing. We don’t
expect to go into camp and just say, ‘We only need to bring in 23 guys
because everything is fixed,’ so there’ll be some competition in camp,” said Treliving.

In other words, I wouldn’t expect him to add too many more players on one-way deals. As Ari noted earlier today, there are a few spots available for non-established players and it sounds like the Flames would like to keep it that way. But with 42 players on the books for next season (and 41 likely to count given Nick Schneider’s deal will probably slide), Treliving probably still has a few additions to make to the organization in the coming weeks.

    • freethe flames

      I completely agree with you. He also should be looking to resign Grant. He also has to add a couple of AHL only contracts. However little else can get done until he signs the big two or makes a trade. If he could move Wideman things change significantly(Eng’s would work but to lesser extent)and either get a top 9 rw or just the cap space things could improve.

      Looking at our team as it sits I really worry about our 4th line and third pairing. Smid on LTIR, moving one of the above mentioned defenders and signing Jooris and Nakladal would make me more hopeful.

      Here’s how I see things shaking down with our current squad:

      Johnny/Monny/Prybil or Frolik
      Tkachuk or Shinkaruk/Bennett/Brouwer
      Ferland/Backs/Frolik or Chaisson
      Bouma/Stajan/Chaisson or Bollig

      If Bollig and Stajan are both every night players we will struggle. The best Stajan played IMO was with Backs at the end of the year and Bollig quite frankly is not nearly good enough nor does he really act as the deterrent BB likes to suggest.

      On the Back end as it sits is either:

      Dougie/TJ
      Engs or Wides/Gio
      Engs or Wides/JJ
      and to be frank the bottom 3 are at best 3rd pairing guys. An option would be Gio/tJ, Dougie/JJ and the other two but that is a disaster waiting to happen. IMO we would be better of with Nakdaddy, Spoon or Kulak instead of Wides or Engs.

      The goalies are fine and I expect something like this Elliott with @ 55 starts and Johnson with @27 starts.

      So BT still has plenty to do to keep himself and his staff busy.

    • freethe flames

      For a simple answer see the words “salary cap” until something else happens to create cap space putting costly ideas forward is meaningless.

      The youngest defenders(Kylington and Andersson) will be in Stockton but both Kulak and Spoon IMO look nHL ready. They just need a chance.

      • freethe flames

        If I understand the cap correctly(and if not I have no problem with being corrected) you only count the 22/23 roster players as part of the cap. You get @$900 relief when a 1 way player is in the AHL and you get cap relief when someone is hurt; their salary hit for the # of games out and then add the cost of their replacement.

        Teams can go over the cap 10% in the offseason but must be compliant at the start of the season. The Flames will get cap relief if Smid is on LTIR but they must be compliant at the start of the season. One way to do so might be to keep some cheaper salaries up and send some higher salaries down and that is why they have a capologist.

        • Baalzamon

          I believe this is mostly correct. The amount of relief on a buried contract is something like $925k I believe. It’s a bizarrely exact number.

          I’m not sure if IR provides cap relief; LTIR does (in a fashion; it allows you to exceed the cap by the injured player’s cap hit), but IR is different.

          I’m not sure about keeping cheaper salaries up and sending higher salaries down. The fact that you can only get 925k of relief means the relief from sending the contract down would be mostly taken up by the player temporarily called up. I don’t expect to see much in the way of paper transactions at the start of the year.

          I wonder, is a team permitted to have a 22-man opening night roster rather than 23? I certainly hope so, for the Flames’ sake (though according to cap friendly they have enough space to have a really cheap 23rd man, assuming 14million for the Monahan and Gaudreau extensions.

    • Trevy

      Not a bad idea, but then one of Wideman, Engelland or Jokkipakka would be the odd man out. Jokkipakka needs the ice time in the bottom six so unless they trade/buyout Wides or have a 2.9 mill dman being a healthy scratch, I don’t know if this works

  • everton fc

    I think they sign Grant, Nakladal, and Jooris. They move Wideman and pickup a RW. Bouma is moved to make room for either Grant or F. Hamilton (Grant’s a lefty, Hamilton a righty). If Jooris is signed, the 4th line may be Ferland-Grant-F. Hamilton or Jooris, with Stajan on LW, Backlund and Chiasson his line-mates.

    Brouwer plays w/Bennett, 2nd line RW. Frolik becomes a first line RW. Prybil adapts in the AHL for one season. Poirier back to the “A”. Arnold retained as “depth”.

    Wideman’s moved, Nakladal plays 5/6 w/Wotherspoon, Jokipaaka plays w/Gio, Kulak is first call up from the “A”, w/Engellad #7.

    Unless they move Engelland, which is highly unlikely.

  • freethe flames

    So I am looking at our RW Bouwer has averaged 20 goals a season over his 7 full nhl seasons, Frolik 18 a season, Chiasson 11 goals a season and then there is Bollig 10 goals total!!

    Please BT find another RW who can score or please one of the kids step up and earn the job.

    Looking at our veteran centers is also interesting. Back excluding his two injury seasons is averaging 14. Stajan his first 6 seasons averaged 15 goals a season, the last 5 season 8. Again let’s hope that he finds the fountain of youth or one of the kids pushes him aside.

    • Kevin R

      How about a cheap flyer on Vrbata on the top line. He had a huge year with the Sedins the year before, has skill, can score, maybe we get him cheap. 1-2 year deal @ 1.5-2.0 mill per?

      • flames2015

        We don’t need a 35 year old, whose better days are clearly behind him. For that same price, I would rather bring back Hudler who even though had a bad year, still had more points than Vrbata. He’s 3 years younger, well liked by the team and can still chip in here and there. He’d be fine in a 3rd line roll and be bumped up abeit injuries.

    • freethe flames

      I was just looking at nHL transactions and could not find it there; although he is listed on General fanager but it was last years contract. Eventually I am sure it will be posted somewhere correctly.

    • Baceda

      Dammit. I really liked him. Great in the AHL and a really solid 3rd/4th liner when when was called up.
      Seems like a weird choice letting him go. He could’ve started the year in the A and therefore not had an impact on the cap right?

      • The GREAT Walter White

        BT has been doing a lot of weird things this free agency.

        Let’s hope he has something good going on……either that or he has lost his mind.

        WW

        • Baalzamon

          They would have kept Grant, I think, if not for Stajan. Grant is waiver eligible, and after last season he probably would have been claimed by someone.

          At the moment, it looks like they chose Jooris over Grant.

  • Baalzamon

    Just a question for all you guys suggesting free agents… where is this cap space coming from? The Flames have 14 million free… which is what it will take to re-sign Monahan and Gaudreau.

    • freethe flames

      Baalzamon; would you be so kind as to read my explanation of how the cap works. I respect your understanding of these things. We might not always agree with each other views on what should be done but that’s the point of a fans forum. I too wonder where some of these ideas come from.

  • Juan Valdez

    Nakladal probably wants a one way contract with term. The scary part is that he has leverage (being a RHD) and could easily end up signing with the Oilers. This is really close to becoming another Paul Byron type of mistake.

    • Connor McDaigle

      You’d think Paul frickin Byron was this star player the Flames gave away. Fourth liner, people. Look how many the organization purged this summer. Gotta keep looking for the ones that will really make a difference.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    Yup. Nakladal could easily be another Brouwer casualty…..

    The guy is building a house in Calgary and his dad lives here, you would think BT could have negotiated a home town discount…..

    WW

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    You don’t need any more d but you need some depth on the wings. You have 16 ml left and need to sign Monahan and Gaudreau . 6 for Monahan and 7 – 7.5 for Gaudreau . 13.5 total. You need a left wing and a right wing .
    Not much left over!

      • Joe Flames

        I would swap frolik (keep him with Backlund) and Chiasson. If Chiasson doesn’t pan out hopefully Pribyl or Shinkaruk can pick up the slack.
        Or maybe we can get another RW in a package for Wideman and something else

  • RKD

    Most of the remaining money is going to be used up with the new deals for Gaudreau and Monahan. With the additions of Brouwer and Chiasson I’m wondering who is going to fill the top line RW? Brouwer would be better slotted at 2 line RW not the top line. Frolik is right where he should be with Backs and Chiasson on the 4th line. It’s hard to fill a good RW, unless BT can pull off a trade for a young RW. Tkachuk I think will start in the AHL unless he has a great camp and they have him NHL ready. Shinkaruk looked great on the top line but can he carry that load for 82 games? I would still like to see BT add a top RW on the top line but they may not be out there or too old. If he could land another d-man to play with Hamilton that would be great. Wide’s game has deteriorated too much, kids shouldn’t be carrying his jockstrap because of the weaknesses in his game.

    • The Sultan

      I think it’s OHL or NHL for Tkachuk. See with Alex Nylander coming over from Europe to play in the OHL last season, he’d be eligible to play in the AHL as an underager a la Oliver Kylington.

      Tkachuk comes from a hockey family. His dad was a pretty decent player. The Flames coveted Tkachuk because he’s big, strong, and plays the type of sandpaper game we need to compliment our other players. Oh, another reason the Flames thought about trading up to get him? Physically, he’s NHL-level ready. If he can improve his skating — which in an interview after being drafted, said he would spend the summer working on — I’d expect to see him on the Flames roster opening night. Monahan did it.

  • brodiegio4life

    they definitely have to sign nakladal, he looked great last year despite his very limited opportunities. Would be nice to see what he can do if he’s given the chance to play more

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    It’s going to be interesting to watch Dubios. While watching the draft I couldn’t believe the size of him. Even though Tkachuk is listed at 6’1″ 195 he looked small in comparison to Dubios.

    • Truculence

      You really don’t have a life, do you bud? You consistently show up at other fans’ sites and troll incessantly about how good the Oilers “will” be “next” year.

      I mean, I’ve never met a guy live vicariously through young athletes to the extent you do. Does arguing with some anonymous person over whose prospect is really better give you some sense of personal satisfaction or self-worth? If so,LOL!

      We are all biased towards our favorite teams -it’s part of what being a fan means. Of course Flames fans are going to be adamant that their team will perform better in the coming season because hope springs eternal in the summer -a fact that Oiler fans should be aware of more than any other fan base.Conversely, we hate the Oilers and wish them nothing but the worst on the ice because of this. To come here and proclaim righteously about how crazy us Flames fans are to question anything about the Oilers franchise is pathetic and moronic because it belies that you are somehow objective as an Oilers fan.

      In sum, piss off. I could care less about whether Puljujarvi becomes the next Seleanne or Magnus Paajarvi. I browse Flamesnation to hear fellow Flames fans talk about our favorite team, not some pathetic loser who evidently has no social life and perpetually trolls rival fanbases to elicit attention.

      p.s. And, yeah, for my money, Puljujarvi will become the next Paajarvi. So go on and pout.

  • McRib

    Derek Grant signed by Buffalo and Kenny Agostino signed by St. Louis. Slightly disappointed to see both of those players not resigned, I guess the Flames are expecting big contributions from first year players Jankowksi and Mangiapane. Emile Poirier also needs a bounce back year as well offensively, so he should be expecting increase minutes as well. I guess I can understand the logic, wish Agostino was given more of a chance to showcase talents with the big club last year.

    • everton fc

      While I wish both guys would have made it, we have Mangiapane, Prybil, Jankowski, Hathaway, F. Hamilton, Poirier, Carroll, Klimchuk, Pollock, Smith, maybe Tkachuk… Without Tkachuk, they have three lines in place.

      Still, Stockton looks bare. Are Mithcell Heard, Blair Riley and Ryan Lomberg signed?! That would give us four lines in Stockton, w/o Tkachuk. If F. Hamilton is in Calgary, and/or Prybil, you sign two “tweeners”, and you have your forwards. Defence and goal are set. I think these moves were to give the guys above (and maybe Arnold, if he’s signed, but I doubt he will be) a chance to get more minutes. Particularly Mangiapane, Pollock, Prybil, Poirier and Jankowski.

      • freethe flames

        Even when BT gets around to signing Johnny/Monny/Spoon and FHamilton the Flames will only have 42 of 50 players under contract. That leaves him room to add a few more guys but as I look at the remaining UFA’s I wonder who might be a good fit. Please remember that Tkachuk can not play in the AHL this year; it’s NHL or OHL only. It’s possible he will earn his 9 game NHL experience but after that I am not sure if staying in the NHL is best for his development.

        I was thinking about the upcoming World cup and with Johnny and Monny being away what the preseason lines should look like. Here are some that I would like to see explored: Tkachuk/Bennett/Bouwer, Shinkaruk/Backs/Frolik, Mangiapanne/Jankowski/Poirier and Bouma/Stajan/Chaisson.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    By the way, when does the current CBA expire? You can book that date as the next work stoppage. Looking at the contracts being doled out yesterday showed me very little has been learned from past stoppages. Ridiculous contracts are still the norm as are the justifications by owners and GMs who say they have no other choice. That part is true because if they collectively decided not to give enormous contracts to marginal players, a strong case for collusion might be made.

    What I do foresee coming from the next labour disruption is casualties in the form of weak franchises folding or being relocated.

  • Brodano12

    Sign Nakladal, sign Jooris for ~2 million. Smid on LTIR and/or Wideman trade will give us more than enough space if Gaudreau and Monahan get ~14 million. Then just hold tight – keep gauging the trade and FA markets and make a move if there’s a good deal, but don’t feel the need to go out and get someone if it isn’t worth it.

    Run a lineup of:

    13 F:

    Gaudreau-Monahan-Brouwer (top line, favourable zone starts, top 6 competition, PP, ~19 mins per night)

    Ferland-Backlund-Frolik (top defensive line, toughest zone starts and top line competition, ~16 minutes per night)

    BPA@camp(Tkachuk/Shinkaruk/Poirier)-Bennett-Chiasson (sheltered offensive line, bottom 6 competition and well balanced zone starts, ~16 minutes per night)

    Bouma-Stajan-Jooris/Hamilton (4th line, crash and bang, strong forecheck, tough zone starts but easy competition, PK players, ~8 minutes per night)

    Bollig (bench)

    8D:

    Brodie-Hamilton (top pairing, top competition, balanced zone starts, ~25 minutes per night)

    Gio-Nakladal (top pairing, top competition, balanced zone starts, ~25 minutes per night)

    **Splitting up Brodano balances out our top 4, but in crucial moments and in the PK, they can be re-united to bump up their ice time to ~27-28 mins and lower Hamilton and Nak’s ice time to ~22-23 mins**

    Jokipakka-Wideman or Wotherspoon-Engelland (sheltered as fuck in every way possible, ~10 minutes per night)

    Wotherspoon and Engelland can replace Jokipakka and Wideman just as easily as the vice-versa. Basically the bottom 2 spots are given to the best of the 2 rookies vs 2 vets.

    2G: Elliot (~55-60 games), Johnson (~20-25 games)

    Gives us a well balanced line up that relies strongly on it’s vets (in both positions Fwd & D) and gives young players a chance to develop in sheltered roles while still providing depth scoring.

    I think that’s a young playoff team with plenty of youth still in the upswing. We have an incredibly young core, a stellar defense, reliable goaltending, and average (but developing to above average) forward depth.

    Add in a great prospect pool at every position and level (C: Janko, Pollock, Dube, Phillips, LW: Tkachuk, Shinkaruk, Mangiapane, Klimchuk, RW: Poirier, Prybil, Tuulola, LD: Kylington, Kulak, Hickey, RD: Andersson, Morrison, Fox, G: Gillies, MacDonald, Parsons) and you have a very healthy organization set up for now and the future.

    Also, I believe that BT letting go of Grant, Agostino, Elson, etc is a legitimate plan. The AHL team sucked last year. It was plagued by inconsistency and streaky play from all its players. With so many new additions of higher tiered prospects, BT is purposely changing the culture of the AHL squad by removing the vets and long time players. With so many contract spaces still available, I’m sure BT is looking at numerous AHL vets that can stabilize the young AHL team. BT has a plan, and he’s making his stamp on the entire organization. He knows this is the transition year from rebuild to contender, so he’s making the changes necessary to reset this organization around our new core.

  • Tommynotsohuge

    As of right now, I’d go with
    1. Johnny, Mony, Brouwer
    2. Tkatchuk, Bennett, Shinkurik
    3. Ferland, Backlund, Frolik
    4. Bouma, Stajan, Chiasson
    Pribyl, Hamilton extras