Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking Brad Treliving’s trades

Brad Treliving has re-upped as general manager of the Calgary Flames. While the populace of Calgary breathes a heady sigh of relief, it’s probably a good idea to jump in the way-back machine and take a look at Treliving’s performance during his three seasons as Flames top dog.

Let’s start with a look back at the 17 trades he’s made since becoming GM.

17. 2014 third round pick (83rd overall) to Chicago for Brandon Bollig

The Flames got: a bottom-sixer with a Stanley Cup ring.

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The Blackhawks got: short-term cap relief and a draft pick. They ended up using the pick on Matheson Iacopelli.

A slight overpayment by Treliving, as the Blackhawks seemingly benefited more from Bollig departing than the Flames did from his tenure with them. It was a move designed to give the team toughness, but Bollig spent a lot of time in the press box during his stint in Calgary. They had five picks in the first three rounds heading into the 2014 Draft because of Brian Burke’s trade deadline moves, but half of the four picks the Flames held onto (Mason McDonald and Hunter Smith) seem like whiffs.

16. Max Reinhart to Nashville for a conditional 2016 fourth round pick (not converted)

The Flames got: nothing. (Reinhart didn’t play enough NHL games that season for the condition to convert.) The Flames were just happy to give Reinhart a fresh start.

The Predators got: a fairly productive AHLer with minimal NHL upside.

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The Flames gained nothing, but neither did the Predators.

15. Future considerations to Tampa Bay for Kevin Poulin

The Flames got: a minor league goalie.

The Lightning got: nothing. Poulin wasn’t playing and they were happy to just get rid of his contract.

Similar to the Reinhart deal, except the Flames gained a bit of minor league depth.

14. Corban Knight to Florida for Drew Shore

The Flames got: a right shot center who didn’t seem to have a fit in Florida.

The Panthers got: a right shot center who didn’t seem to have a fit in Calgary (or Florida, which is why he was traded previously to Calgary years prior).

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A low-risk “spare part for spare part” deal. Minimal NHL impact for either side.

13. A conditional 2016 seventh round pick (not converted) to Colorado for Freddie Hamilton

The Flames got: Dougie Hamilton’s older brother, a productive AHLer with some NHL upside as a depth player.

The Avalanche got: nothing. (Hamilton didn’t play enough NHL games that season for the condition to convert.) The Avalanche were happy just to get rid of Hamilton’s contract.

Similar to the Reinhart and Poulin deals, except Hamilton has provided a small amount of NHL depth for zero assets expended to acquire him.

12. David Jones to Minnesota for Niklas Backstrom & 2016 sixth round pick (166th overall)

The Flames got: a third goalie and a late round draft pick, which they used to select Matthew Phillips.

The Wild got: a veteran forward for their playoff run and some cap relief.

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Another low-risk deal, with the Flames and Wild swapping depth (a third line forward for a third string goalie) with the Flames gaining a sixth round pick for taking on Backstrom’s deal. Backstrom stole a late season win for the Flames and Phillips looks very promising thus far, so for future value this is slightly ahead of the Freddie Hamilton acquisition.

11. Jyrki Jokipakka & 2017 second round pick (TBD) to Ottawa for Curtis Lazar & Michael Kostka

The Flames got: a veteran blueliner for their very young AHL farm team, plus a past first round pick that didn’t work out in Ottawa.

The Senators got: some blueline depth for their playoff run, plus a second round pick in a weak draft class.

Basically a junk for junk deal, with a guy that wasn’t working out in Calgary (Jokipakka) being swapped for a guy that wasn’t working out in Ottawa (Lazar). Slightly ahead of the previous deal due to Lazar’s perceived upside, but it’s hard to rank it much higher because a second round pick is a lot to give up for an unproven player.

10. 2015 third round pick (76th overall) & 2015 third round pick (83rd overall) to Arizona for 2015 second round pick (60th overall)

The Flames got: they traded up to select Oliver Kylington.

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The Coyotes got: two later picks, which they used on Adin Hill and Jens Looke.

Kylington was highly rated by the Flames scouting staff and was sliding down the draft board. The Flames were able to utilize some additional picks they had from prior trades to move up to grab him. He’s been good in the AHL thus far, so it seems like a decent gamble.

9. 2017 third round pick (TBD) & conditional 2018 fifth round pick (TBD) to Arizona for Michael Stone

The Flames got: a short-term upgrade on their defensive depth.

The Coyotes got: two draft picks, depending on if Stone re-signs with the Flames.

Jyrki Jokipakka and Dennis Wideman were not working out on the back end as the Flames were pushing for a playoff spot. Stone provided a short-term upgrade and stabilized things, but a pick (or two) for a guy with limited offensive upside and who’s already a bit long in the tooth is a bit too much to spend.

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8. Patrick Sieloff to Ottawa for Alex Chiasson

The Flames got: inexpensive forward depth on their wings.

The Senators got: an AHL defenseman.

A really good value swap for Calgary, as Chiasson has played everywhere and with everybody and produced surprisingly well. The Senators got a guy that seemed to have limited NHL upside when he arrived, and then he injured Clarke MacArthur in training camp.

7. Markus Granlund to Vancouver for Hunter Shinkaruk

The Flames got: a skilled young wing prospect.

The Canucks got: a skilled young center prospect.

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This is a higher stakes version of the prior Knight-for-Shore swap. Neither guy seemed to have a spot in their respective organization and both benefited from a fresh start (especially Granlund). So far, Shinkaruk’s been “just” a productive AHLer.

6. Sven Baertschi to Vancouver for 2015 second round pick (53rd overall)

The Flames got: a draft pick, which they used on Rasmus Andersson.

The Canucks got: a skilled forward who didn’t find a place in Calgary (and who wasn’t going to sign in the summer).

Baertschi had been alienated from the organization by Bob Hartley and/or Brian Burke over time. He wasn’t going to be back. In the spirit of Jay Feaster sending Tim Erixon to the Rangers for a bunch of assets, Treliving nabbed a useful asset for an asset that would soon have zero value.

5. 2016 second round pick (35th overall) & conditional 2017 third round pick (TBD) to St. Louis for Brian Elliott

The Flames got: a starting goalie who was an obvious upgrade on either of the guys they had used the prior season.

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The Blues got: Jordan Kyrou.

Would you rather have a starting goalie or the mystery box?

4. Jiri Hudler to Florida for 2016 second round pick (54th overall) & 2018 fourth round pick (TBD)

The Flames got: Tyler Parsons.

The Panthers got: forward depth for playoffs.

Hudler was in the midst of a really rough season, yet Treliving managed to flip him for a couple draft picks.

3. Curtis Glencross to Washington for 2015 second round pick (52nd overall) & 2015 third round pick (83rd overall)

The Flames got: assets for a player that retired after the season, which allowed them to make future trades.

The Capitals got: forward depth for the playoffs.

This is basically the Hudler trade again, with better picks involved for the Flames, and in this case Treliving flipped a guy that wasn’t playing professional hockey the following season for a couple assets that allowed them to trade for Dougie Hamilton and trade up for Oliver Kylington.

2. Kris Russell to Dallas for Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock & 2016 second round pick (56th overall)

The Flames got: a depth defenseman, a depth prospect and a reasonably high draft pick in a reasonably good draft. They used the pick on Dillon Dube.

The Stars got: a rental defenseman for their playoff run.

Treliving flipped a pending UFA defender for three assets. I like this trade because it spread out the risk that one of the assets wouldn’t pan out.

1. 2015 first round pick (15th overall), 2015 second round pick (45th overall) & 2015 second round pick (52nd overall) to Boston for Dougie Hamilton

The Flames got: a young, high-end defenseman.

The Bruins got: three draft picks in a “good, but not great” draft class. They chose Zach Senyshyn at 15th, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson at 45th and Jeremy Lauzon at 52nd.

This is the Brian Elliott trade all over again, except for a player who was at the time an RFA under team control for awhile and had proven to be a strong NHLer already. Would you rather have a high-end defenseman, or three mystery boxes? This was the culmination of months of Treliving’s wheeling and dealing dating back to the previous trade deadline, and leveraged assets in an intelligent manner to help the team in a big way.

  • ronipedia

    That Lazar trade still seems kinda rough. A 2nd round pick? They must really see something in him.
    None of them are really terrible trades, though.

    Where I do see a potential problem with Treliving is in player development. No prospects coming up from the farm make an impact. Be nice to have some young guys up who aren’t top ten picks or #13.

    • This draft is trash in comparison to a normal draft year. Seriously, the player picked at 47/48 will likely be of a similar caliber as someone taken in the 80’s-90’s last year. I think Dube would have been rated in the mid teens this year for comparison. His linemate Kole Lind is rated in the 20’s and he isn’t as good of a player as Dube. Just a weak draft.

    • Lets Get Something Clear

      I think the best argument to defend that trade is that Lazar and a second-round pick have comparable probabilities of turning into serviceable NHL players but that Lazar is more likely to do so sooner than the pick would. In effect, it moves the risk forward and aligns it with the Flames current core group.

      • McRib

        Curtis Lazar’s WHL PPG his draft year 0.86. Aleksi Heponiemi someone who may not even go in the second round this year had 1.19 PPG (in a supposed “bad year”).

        The thing I hate about the Lazar trade the most is BT has killed it with second rounders the last couple of years.

  • Parallex

    I think you’re being pretty charitable to Treliving on some of these (particularly the Lazar trade). I concur that he’s done well in trades but not quite as rosy as this makes it sound.

  • Greg

    I was reading along thinking wow, only 1 trade he lost (Bollig), then I hit #7 (Granlund/Shinkaruk). How did that not get rated as a loss? The Bartschi deal is still too early to call given Anderson potential still (as are many others on the list), but I think it’s safe to call the granlund trade a loss by now.

    Still, pretty good track record. Thanks for putting the list together! Looking forward to a similar one on contract signings (or lack there of: Byron, schlemko). My impression is BT hasn’t been as hot there.

    • smatic10

      As a Flames fan, I’m comfortable saying that we are currently losing both the Baertschi and Granlund deals. But that’s just it, we’re losing FOR NOW. If Andersson can improve conditioning and footspeed, I think his playmaking and on ice vision can make him a solid top-4 option in the not so distant future. I’d take that over Baertschi. And Shinkaruk has started to pick it up in the A, in games that matter too. You never know, with his tenacity and willingness to go to the net, he could find a way to make it click in the NHL. I would take that over perimeter Granlund any day. We’re relying on potential which is risky, but sometimes it really pays off. Same thing with Lazar, it can very well be a bust trade. But a gritty, stocky, young centerman with decent skating and a good attitude is worth taking a chance on. 3 points in 4 regular season games with us, I wouldn’t call that a fluke. He wasn’t even given that much ice time.

      • O'M

        I’ve had this conversation with Canucks fans a few times. Saying Vancouver won these trades is comical to me. Baertchi is only viable as LW2 (not talented enough for LW1 and can’t play bottom six very effectively). He was leaving the org. Unless we wanted two small LWs in our top six, we made the win from our perspective. When Van finishes their rebuild, they will have to decide if Jordan Eberle-lite is worth playing and paying. Tough position for them I think.

        Granlund is barely a viable depth player. The fact that he has good stats on an awful team speaks to the team, not that he was a solid addition via trade.

    • trox

      I don’t think you can look at that trade as “win-lose”. Baertschi was not going to re-sign with us, and we had to move on. So Tre got what he could. And given that we traded him to a divisional rival, I would guess that there were not too many offers.

  • KenBone18

    I think the Dougie Hamilton trade was a big splash trade. I had high hopes for Elliott and I thought St. Louis gave him away for pennies on the dollar but I think we are seeing what they saw all along.

    With the exception of the D. Hamilton trade, I think he’s just largely re-arranging the deck chairs on the titanic with his trades (i.e. doing something with no meaningful outcome).

    • Greg

      Probably more than half the trades in the league are just shuffling deck chairs. GMs rarely win or lose a trade significantly. That Hamilton trade was a career maker on its own… kinda like how Sutter built an entire GM career out of the Kipper trade.

      Take it out of the list though, and I’m still inclined to think there’s more wins than shuffles on the whole.

  • BringtheFire

    I don’t understand people pooping on the Lazar trade. Aren’t all players in the draft by definition unproven? And it’s a weak draft. If we kept the pick we’d probably get someone equivalent to…well, to Lazar, really.

    Plus, I like the kid. He’s gonna work out.

    • Parallex

      Because it’s not that Lazar is unproven… it’s that thus far in his professional career Lazar hasn’t been good. If it were unproven vs. unproven I’d agree, it’s a wash… but Lazar isn’t 100% “unproven”. We have information on him and that information suggests that he’s not particularly good as a pro. You can say, with some accuracy, that he still has upside left but the draft pick would also have upside, likely wouldn’t have any data that suggests he’d be a poor pro, wouldn’t initially eat up a slot on the reserve list, expansion draft protection list, and active roster.

  • Southboy

    Outside of Hamilton, who is all offense and no gritty defense ( for a big guy) not a single one if these trades has ‘helped’ the team. Just shuffling guys around. And i am sure there is a St.Lois writer out there writing an article about how they fleeced us for Elliot.

    I give BT a C-, should have went a different route for GM

    • al rain

      I get that you’re just here to troll so I won’t waste words debating your conclusion that Treliving should get a C-, but I will set you straight in regards to your reasoning.

      It’s a rather simplistic view to judge trades – Treliving’s or anyone else’s – by whether they “helped the team”. When you trade away a current asset (i.e. Glencross) for future assets (in this case a handful of useful picks) you make your team “worse” in the short term. Does that make it a bad trade? By your logic it does, but not by anyone else’s.

  • Nick24

    Overall, Treliving has done a good. Some people have concerns that he hasn’t been able to graduate AHL prospects and depth picks into NHL players yet, but you have to be patient. The 2014 draft wasn’t even three years ago. Expect that as the next season gets going we’ll see at least one defenseman and one forward tried for a good amount of time. We’ve got some really high quality players coming up, but sometimes younger players take a few years until they’re ready.

    • Cheeky

      I agree as you can’t really blame a GM for player’s development directly. He picks them, so it’s a roll of the dice (some work out, some don’t). The issue with development is in the coaches (minor leagues) and player personnel whether good or bad. As a GM he should be reassessing those positions.

  • Southboy

    Not sure how my opinion of our GM’s trades is ‘trolling’? C- isnt a failing grade, my point was that outside of the Hamilton trade ( a top end 2nd pairing dman eho is a PP specialist ) none of the trades have made our team better, ya we got picks and prospects, but rhose are a roll of the dice, and not one of them helped us in the playoffs this year!! And his 2nd biggest trade ( Elliot) sunk us in the playoffs. So what would your grade be ‘al rain’?

    • al rain

      As I said, I don’t care about your conclusion or what you grade Treliving: everyone has their own opinion. What’s not opinion is that your reasoning on how to grade a GM’s performance is simplistic and well, wrong.

      “Asset management” as the folks here like to call it, would be a mighty complex thing. There’s a certain amount of betting on futures, poker tactics, trying to sell high and stabbing at draft picks. There’s personalities and salary caps and trying to find that elusive *chemistry* on a line. And a hundred other things we can see.

      It’s also certainly chock full of variables that we as mere spectators (“fans” we call ourselves) are not privy to. We’ve seen peeks under the door such as when Baertschi’s unwillingness to sign with Calgary became public. We’ve seen insinuations of more complex locker room issues like when Iginla challenged Neon Dion to a fight when the Flames played the Leafs. Are there other things that factor into GM decisions that don’t make it to the sports page in the Sun? Almost certainly.

      Give Treliving any grade you want – this is all just another exercise to feel superior to someone else anyways. But don’t use crazy logic like “not one of them helped us in the playoffs this year” to support your grade and expect no one to call you on it.

  • Southboy

    I kinda feel sorry for you ‘al rain’, if every persons opinion doesnt match your own its considered trolling, you must be an absolute joy to work with… if you have a job.

    • al rain

      I think you mean “person’s” with an apostrophe denoting possession. Also “it’s”, again with an apostrophe but this time denoting a contraction of it is.

  • Southboy

    So making trades only to help our future get a pass from you, but trades that fail ( Elliot) and not making trades to help us now get overlooked? I absolutely like the trades he has made to stock us with picks and prospects. All i meant was untill he makes a trade to get this team to the next level, i am not sure how he can get a really high frade. Again, just my opinion, not trolling. But you believe what you want.

    • al rain

      In spite of my saying twice that I don’t care what your grade of Treliving is, you keep offering evidence to support your grade. I’ve been critiquing your reasoning, not your conclusions.

      And your grammar. I’ve been critiquing your grammar as well, but I thought that was a pretty obvious gift to you after rather haughtily denigrating this whole thing as an exercise to “feel superior to someone else” and then doing it myself. Wish I hadn’t had to point that out.

      And there I did it again.

      Well this has been fun, thanks for your input. I’ll sign off here and let you have the last word, which will probably prove my point more than it will yours.

      And there I did it again.

  • Southboy

    My reasonings are like alot of other posts here have said ‘merely re-arranging the chairs on the deck’ please see ken bones post. ( doing something with no meaningful outcome ) So yes if the trades we are discussing have not made the team better, other than kinda sorta maybe 5 years from now, and the ones he has made for that purpose , eg; Elliot, are a complete failure, than the reasoning supports the grade whether you believe in grading someone or not. Plus sports are built on grades. But just spitballing your reasoning, the Boilers of the previous 10 years with picks and prospects and no balls to make a solid hockey trade trade were just doing great ‘asset management’. Hmmmmmm

    But i am glad you will not reply to this post as i have proven to you i am a mere mortal to your superior hockey sense.

    • cjc

      Taking the attitude that this is a weak draft is somewhat risky. It could end up being a solid draft, or the best players could come in the second or third round. The Lazar move makes sense when the reasoning is “be better now” – a player taken in the second round this year is at least 2-3 years away from playing, while Lazar can hopefully have an impact before then.

  • cjc

    I think it’s tough to evaluate one GM’s moves in a vacuum. I think if you look at most GM’s records, you’d see something similar. At least Treliving hasn’t pulled a Hall-Larsson or Weber-Subban type deal. It’s hard to get upset about any of these trades, even the ones that haven’t worked like we hoped (e.g. Granlund-Shinkaruk). And the Hamilton trade has to rank as one of the best in the league over the last 4 years.

  • Cheeky

    One thing I’ll give BT is he seens to have a plan (get younger and positional needs) and hasn’t been shafted (yet) trade wise. Also bare in mind that today’s trade are vastly different than those in the past especially when the salary cap is factered in. Not many true trade trades go on these days….