Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving has been a busy man since just before the National Hockey League’s entry draft two weeks ago. He’s added a lot of players to the organization, yet still found time to hold court with local media following Friday’s on-ice sessions at development camp.
Here are the main takeaways from Treliving’s chat.
Treliving noted that the on-ice aspect of development camp is fairly secondary to the informational aspects of camp, as this camp is meant to prepare everybody for their summers of training more than it is meant to be guys fighting to win jobs.
It’s July. This is an information camp. It’s about giving them all the information so they can be as productive over the summer as they can so they’re ready to go to whatever camps they’re going to go to.
A few questions to the GM related to all the players the team has added. In terms of the message to the organization’s youngsters who may’ve been hoping for NHL time this season prior to all the signings, Treliving doesn’t think it’ll dissuade them.
Number one, it should be hard to make the team. If you’ve got a good team, it should be hard to make the team. I think our team is getting there. Secondarily, I don’t think these guys are rubbing their eyes and kicking stones. They’re motivated to come in here and play, so I think if nothing else it’s fuel to a lot of these guys and it’s going to be good competition. We’re a long way from training camp, but obviously there’s a certain couple of guys that are going to be in the mix come September.
He mentioned DIllon Dube, Spencer Foo and Juuso Valimaki as players that should push, but also noted he didn’t want to leave out any names, so there are definitely others in that group.
In a related question, he was asked about the added minor-league bodies and noted that many of the depth moves were made with a few specific goals in mind.
As you become a deep organization, you’ve heard me talk of a bottom push, it should be hard everywhere. There’s been a plan in place, too. A couple of those signings – and locally we might not know these guys much – Buddy Robinson is a 25-year-old guy who’s looking at this to come and push for a team spot, and I think when you get to September he’s going to be a really interesting guy.
But what it also does when you do have some kids that are going to be playing in the American League, part of the signings are to spur the development of those guys – whether it’s a defensive partner for a certain guy, or a certain winger to play with a certain centerman – just to be better. It’s not done to take away from any opportunities for young guys, but it’s pro hockey: it should be earned, and it should be something that pushes everybody to be better.
Organizationally in the last few weeks we’ve gotten deeper on both teams. And we’ve got some kids that are going to be turning pro that will make us even deeper.
All indications from camp thus far are that Matthew Phillips, Valimaki and Dube will be turning pro despite being eligible to return to the Western Hockey League. Glenn Gawdin, who’s used up his junior eligibility, and Zach Fischer, signed to an AHL contract, will also be going pro.
Treliving had an interesting assessment of 2017 pick Adam Ruzicka:
His draft year, coming out of the Hlinka, he’s a first round pick. We ended up getting him in the fourth. Now, why? He’s got to become an everydayer. You see it in flashes, and then it goes away. You see it in flashes. If he can become an everydayer with the package that he’s got: size, skill, talent, reach. Very intriguing guy, but it’s doing it every day.
Bit of a contract update on Elias Lindholm from GM Brad Treliving today.
He says the team is looking for something long term with the RFA forward. Says Lindholm’s camp is very open to that, too. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) July 6, 2018
Goaltender Tyler Parsons is in town but won’t participate in the on-ice part of camp this weekend. He tweaked something doing his summer training.