Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Treliving reflects on the 2018 trade deadline

Following a trade deadline that was simultaneously defined by big moves involving five first round picks on one hand and a bunch of smaller tinker trades throughout the rest of the league, the Calgary Flames ended up having a fairly sedate deadline day.

After all the dust had settled, Flames general manager Brad Treliving chatted with the assembled media to discuss the team’s two deadline additions and where the team goes from here.

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Treliving noted that the team had lots of conversations and a list of wants that they wanted to address, but the two moves they made were what made sense to them given the prices in the trade market. The plan is for both players to join the team in Dallas and they’ll go from there.

He did note that given Smith’s injury status they looked a bit at goaltenders and felt it didn’t make any sense to make a move based on the performance of David Rittich and Jon Gillies and the prices out in the market. (He emphasized that the team’s exploration of goalies wasn’t out of dissatisfaction with either of their current players, but rather just doing their due diligence.)

On Nick Shore:

“One of the things we were looking for was a right-shot center, a right-shot center we felt could handle a defensive role. When you look at our center ice with Monahan, Backlund, Jankowski and I also put Bennett in there, I put Stajan in there, Lazar… I think you’ve heard me talk about, I think you need depth at center. We’ve had Marek Hrivik has gone down with an injury… We wanted to make sure we had ample depth there.

“What Nick is is he’s an excellent penalty killer. He’s had offense in his career, it hasn’t translated right now to the NHL. I think there’s more talent, skill and ability there than has translated to the numbers, quite frankly. He’s still a young player in this league, so we think he can come in and help us.”

On Chris Stewart:

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“We’ve got a real motivated player who’s on an expiring contract who wants to continue his career. What we talked to him about is coming in and being the Chris Stewart that we see sometimes when he’s in the other jersey, he wasn’t a whole lot of joy to play against… Big body, shoots right, has scored in the past but you’re right, there’s been some inconsistency in his game. We’re hopeful we’re going to get a guy that’s going to come in here and be hungry to help us, and I know he is.”

Rather than big swings, Treliving noted that this year’s deadline was about working to improve the team around the fringes where they could: “Today was more about tinkering and finding what we thought were some players that fit, but ultimately the group that we started the day with will determine our fate down the stretch.”

Aside from trying to find a right-shot center, the deals seemed to be primarily about adding depth and giving the team some options going forward. Adding bottom six bodies wasn’t necessarily reflective of any dissatisfaction with the current group, but you also have to think that if their bottom six was performing really well there would’ve been less desire for tinkering.

“We’ve got some depth now. We’ve added to some depth. We have some young guys that have come up and played throughout the year. A lot of times in the league, games are determined by your top guys. That doesn’t change. I think our top guys have been good, and now we’ve got to have everybody playing good.”

Were the high prices paid for big-name rental players surprising? Not really, given the quality of the players: “It’d surprise me if one day, ‘Oh geez, rental prices are so low.’ That would surprise me. Probably not going to happen.”

Treliving noted that there were some pending AHL-related transactions that were going to be announced, primarily based upon keeping some players eligible for the Calder Cup playoffs.

  • Honkydonk

    I’m happy we kept our players.. deadline suicide is over and we still have a 2019 first rounder, fox Anderson, Bennett and all our d prospects so I am happy.

    It’s clear by now we truly lacked depth in our bottom 6 as Stajan did not get the job done nor have any other if you look at points produced and play off hockey is still a much different game of wearing down your opponents.

    Now let’s give it our all and see where the chips fall for the cup then come draft trade Stone for a 3rd and 4th and do something about Brouwer and I’m a happy man

  • The GREAT WW

    Please take the delay off my posts; FN readers deserve my brilliant insight as it happens, in real time….

    “Fake-Outrage2.0” has died down…..


  • Skylardog

    You can tell BT had conflict. On one hand he says he worked to improve the team on the fringes, but he also said that when you have the opportunity to win you have to go for it because the future is never certain and all 31 teams will be contenders when next season starts.

    Seems to me the last few weeks has led him to believe this is not the year, and therefore, he did not go out and get a top RW.

    The holes in the lineup are glaring, but man we got a pile of top notch 4th liners.

    • T&A4Flames

      I’m curious, what do you believe are our glaring holes personnel wise?
      To me the “4th(and 3rd) liners” were the glaring holes. So adding what imo are a couple of upgrades over some of these guys we had is good maneuvering. And at the end of the day we added depth with these 2 guys for the cost of only a 7th round pick next year. Stewart alone has more points than 3 if our regular 4th liners combined and has excellent size and decent speed which is always beneficial come playoff time.

      • Skylardog

        Top RW, and right now we do not have a scoring second line. Fix the right wing issue, and you then move a player onto Jankos line and the problems begin to go away.

        For years, a top RWer has been the issue, and still is tonight. The 4th line and 3rd got no help today. All we got was depth.

        • Frank the Nose ?

          We need Bennett to step up and be that top 6 RW . Frolik s coming off injury and is getting going again .these are good moves all Flames really need is a few tweaks and some players to be a little more consistent. this also forces other players to play harder now that there’s more competition on bottom 6

        • The Beej

          Thats one hole. Top 6 RW. You mentioned “glaring holes” in our lineup… it sounded like you had multiple roster problems on your mind. I think overall center depth is shaky right now until the next crop of 2015-2017 start to emerge.

          But not many actual holes in the roster. Other than RW. I cant think of one really. Bottom 6 has been a little suspect but should be shored up when Versteeg returns.

          Maybe you could say defense 2nd/3rd line has underacheived a little, but we still have an above average roster and great prospects coming so an area of strength.

          Goaltending an area of strength.

          We are a pretty good young team but we need to have patience and I am glad to see BT does and didnt make a move we might regret like other teams will regret their deals today. If we can fill that RW hole and continue to improve from within this team could be a contender next year. We have a nice mix of slick skill like Gaudreau, sandpaper catalyst Tkachuk, clutch Monahan… if we can find the right RW to mesh with that top 6… our D is set to improve from within.. hey we have some goalies… maybe you get your coaching change this summer who knows… i am excited about the next few years.

          • Skylardog

            The problem is you keep thinking that the Backlund line is a second line, it is not. It ranks as one of the worst second lines in the NHL, but may be the best third line. If you follow that line of thought, then we are missing an entire second line.

            However, we have Bennett and Janko. They are capable and need to step up as a scoring second line, but they need a top 6 RW to do that. Even if you pencil in Bennett at 1st line RW and move Tkachuk to play with Janko, you still are lacking a top RW. And by moving Tkachuk to play with Janko, you now have a third LW hole (although there are guys that should be able to fill that hole, Ferland, Klimchuk…). Keep in mind Bennett, Tkachuk, and Ferland are all left shots.

            I like Ferland (my favorite Flame) but if he can’t fill the void with JG and Mony, then he isn’t the answer for Bennett and Janko either.

            The reason Flames fans keep beaking about secondary scoring is not because of the 4th line, it is because we don’t have a second line. We get scoring from our third line, Backs and Tkachuk have had a good season.
            The 4th line had started to make some noise, then Brouwer came back. He should not touch the ice again this season.

        • BendingCorners

          Ferland is okay up there most of the time but an RHS RW that checks and scores is a missing ingredient. Stewart is not it and neither was Brouwer nor will Foo be (imo).
          A better 2LD than Brodie would help; his game has decayed too much.
          Doing little at the TDL was smart because you are right – this team (at least with this coach) is not ready yet to make a Cup run.

  • freethe flames

    Dear writers: How about an article on who is eligible to play for the Stockton Heat when they make the playoffs. Also if Fox decides not to go back can he play in the NHL or AHL. Also can the CHL kids play in the AHL when the season ends?(playoffs)

  • The GREAT WW

    I like adding both Stewart and Shore for basically nothing.
    Best case; add a couple of NHL players with no downside.

    Oilers shipped out another 3 NHL players for nothing back…..

    Again Cammy gets his team nothing at the deadline….


    • Off the wall

      I guess Snow and Shero are taking turns at Chia.

      Hard to believe the Oilers only got a 3rd for Maroon.
      Meanwhile, Red Wings cashed in on Tomas Tatar for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

      Good times, right WW?
      Don’t worry, I can wait 3 hours for your reply…

      • The GREAT WW

        Good times!!!!
        So glad we have BT, imagine if we had the Oilers GM!!!!
        Imagine how many of our promising players he would have traded away for next to nothing!!!!
        And stuck bottom 5 in the league for another decade……


    • BendingCorners

      If Shore takes Stajan’s spot, and after Ferland returns the 3rd line is Bennett-Jankowski-Stewart, which two play wing on the 4th line? Hathaway and Brouwer? Or does Lazar rank ahead of Brouwer?

  • FL?MES

    While other teams in the Pacific armed themselves for the stretch drive, BT picked up a couple knives for GG to use in the gunfight. This is where we will really find out what kind of a coach he is. Only 19 games to go so not a lot of time for him to figure out the new line ups.

  • The GREAT WW

    BT traded away our first round pick for a stud D with 2 more years on a reasonable contract after this year (which I would not have done with this coaching crew).
    Other GMs traded away first round picks for rentals this year.

    Now we just have to make sure we make the playoffs…..!!!


  • First Name Unidentified

    Oh thank you lord for we came out unscathed today, thank you Brad for not trading away our core and/or future. What an amazing , uneventful day for my Flames knowing Ras , Benny, Fox, Gillies, etc are all still intact. I was holding my breath there for a while but had a pretty busy day at work so kept me distracted.

    Brad, you just have to fire the math teacher to fix this team. And the rest of the side kicks …

  • aye

    Flames aren’t the only team that didn’t do anything crazy today. DAL, MIN, COL, ANA also didn’t do anything, and STL selling, so I say the Flames are still in decent shape for the playoff run.
    Rental players rarely make a significant impact, and often can hurt the team more than help them.

      • McRib

        St. Louis actually did well on that trade as well, Erik Foley is a legit prospect and a 1st & 4th for a 32 year old UFA.

        When St. Louis inserts Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, Klim Kostin, etc (along with Robby Fabbri being healthy) they won’t miss Paul Stastny.

  • aye

    Report is that the Sharks also put in a claim for Stewart, so I’m happy that we have him on our side rather than play against him, since we do still have the Sharks twice.