Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Treliving reflects on the Talbot addition and a quiet July 1

After being a big spending in previous seasons, the Calgary Flames were relatively quiet on July 1 this year. Their lone significant move was signing free agent goaltender Cam Talbot. Flames general manager Brad Treliving chatted with the assembled media on Monday afternoon at the Saddledome.

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Before discussing Talbot’s addition, Treliving expressed appreciation for Mike Smith’s contributions to the club – given the netminder’s departure in free agency to Edmonton.

“I thought he came in at a time, gave us some stability in net,” said Treliving. “I think he’s a big part of David [Rittich’s] development over the course of the last two years and wish him the best.”

This off-season, one of the Flames’ stated goals was to find somebody to work with and complement Rittich’s continued development as a top goaltender. Treliving believes that his team has found that in Talbot, who he spent a month with in 2016 (as did head coach Bill Peters) at the World Hockey Championship.

“There’s an experience factor,” said Treliving, citing Talbot’s experience playing in different roles. “His game, his size, what I like to call it’s a quiet game with him. And also the personality. I think that’s a big part of it. I think we have two goaltenders, there has got to be a push to each other – you want them to push each other, there’s a competitiveness obviously to make each other better, to make themselves better – but there’s also a relationship when they’re voting for the other guy, they’re rooting for the other guy when he’s in the net… We know the personality’s going to fit.”

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When asked why he has confidence that Talbot can turn things around – and why the Flames’ net is the right spot for that to happen – Treliving elaborated a bit about the process the club went through when examining the free agent goalie market.

“To me it’s not taking a snapshot as much as taking a body of work,” said Treliving. “The other thing with Cam is that he’s just right in the prime of his career. He’s a young 31. I look again at the calmness of his game, his size, technically very sound. As we were going through this process… the people in our organization that know this spent a lot of time looking at Cam as well as some other goaltenders and felt some of the things technically that maybe he had some difficulties with, that those are fixable areas.”

In addition to Smith moving on, the July 1 signing frenzy also saw Garnet Hathaway sign a four year deal with the Washington Capitals. That move was bittersweet for Treliving, as a player the club found and developed cashed in on the open market – they’ll miss the player and the role he was able to fill – but his departure also potentially opens the door for expanded roles for young players in the Flames’ system like Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane.

“With every departure that happens, it opens up opportunities,” said Treliving. “We certainly continue to have people that are knocking on the door. Dillon’s a perfect example, Andrew’s a perfect example. They showed last year, at least Dillon did early on in the season and had a terrific year in the American Hockey League. His goal is to be a regular member this year. Andrew, like I said, showed really down the stretch last year, played some impressive minutes for us. Now, he wants more.”

While their flexibility is constrained somewhat by their cap situation, Treliving noted that the team will keep looking at opportunities to improve themselves. But their main focus for the balance of the off-season will likely be their restricted free agents, led by Matthew Tkachuk.

“Matthew is a big part of our team now and will be a big part of our team in the future. So, we’re singularly focused on getting that done and it remains priority one for us,” said Treliving.

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  • Skylardog

    Not a bad day for Brad.

    He only wasted about $1M in overpaying Talbot, but at least it is just a one year deal. He did address the goalie issue, although once again did it with a half effort. Plug the hole in the line up with a guy we hope can. Not a guy we know can.

    But then again, he has failed in everything else this spring and summer.

    No freed up cap space
    No scoring help in the top 6
    No toughness and intensity added
    No RFA signings done yet

    Pretty much a do nothing accomplish nothing summer so far. And as he had no cap space to play with, not really surprised he got little to nothing done today either.

    But it could have been worse. He could have signed Perry to a 6 year $6.5 mill per season deal. Disaster avoided.

    • Em Durp Em Hrudey

      Personally for 1.5 million I would have liked to have seen Perry here. After some of BT’s other free agent signings I am kind of glad he sat back this year. I had a strong “feeling” Talbot was going to become a Flame today, but yes it was an overpayment…Canadian teams do seem to have to ante a little extra to get players here. A trade is in the works again and in a couple of days a couple “needs” will be in place. It’s funny, I wait for this day with excitement each year and it never seems to live up to the hype. Lots of cap space next season, should be fun.

      • Richie

        I always look forward to this time too. I was excited when they signed Neal but he turned into a Brouwer whom I was also excited about.well needless to say I was exceptionally disappointed. The way I look at a cap increase is that it only helps for the first season or 2 then it just get used up over paying guys because they know money is available. Maybe Talbot will have a rebound year just like Hall did after he left.

          • Off the wall

            I’m so confused.
            I haven’t been paying attention as to who is who, but yikes this has to stop fellas.

            Why on earth would anyone initiate this stuff? Can we not be content being ONE person?

            I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, cuz I have no clue who is starting this silliness.
            Can we please be grown-ups now?

            Let WW have some peace ya’ll.
            And the rest of us too!
            Thank you

          • The GREAT WW

            Agree 100% OTW.
            I’m thinking of taking some time off this site.
            I have been contributing to this site for 6 years plus(?).
            Probably have done more to build this site than any other poster….(this is a business isn’t it?!).

            Yet have had imposters since day one and to be honest, this site has done nothing to protect my reputation.

            Let’s see what the imposter WWs can contribute to this site…


          • Em Durp Em Hrudey

            OTW just ignore him. Puck is obviously some small peckered dude that lives in his mothers basement living off Friends re-runs. For some reason I am multiple people on here in his mind an imposter. The Kadri trade fell through due to his lack of interest in being here. There is a link to the Canadians as well as the a few stones in the fire with Philly. That’s all I have heard. Fireworks just started in Parksville.

          • Off the wall

            I feel for ya WW. I really don’t get the fascination with imitation.
            I’d hate for you to leave, because of this.

            I’ve always appreciated your takes on here. I guess being consistent, singles you out for ostracizing?

            I don’t get it, but don’t quit, cuz that means the imposter wins.
            And one thing I DO know about you… you’re not a quitter 😉

            Thanks for the update Hrudey.
            Enjoy the fireworks

          • Puck Head

            Take your ball and go WW. Honestly going to miss your Backlund slamming and all round great attitude. Your contributions were second to none. “This site has done nothing to protect my reputation”….baby want his bottle. Reputation, laughable comment. Your reputation is that of a clown and only taken as amusement. Dance monkey dance.

          • The GREAT WW

            Just imagine; the imposter finds the love of his life on the internet; they share pictures, chat for weeks and agree to meet in person……only to have WW show up …….

            Good times!


          • The GREAT WW

            I’ll take the month of July off.
            I yield the floor to the imposters!!!
            (I’ll probably comment a few times on how pathetic the imposter posts are)

            Enjoy FN….


          • Off the wall

            Yikes, just remember you’re retiring soon WW!

            I need a good neighbor. I’m hoping you’ll buy out my Landlord. He’s a Dick.

            It’s a great investment. I’m upstairs…

          • Puck Head

            I’m signing off as well OTW. I am tired of sifting through posts where 20% or more are not real. I will be reading the blogs but skipping the comments section.

            It was good meeting with Skylar, Free and some of the other FN guys the other week.

          • Off the wall

            Too bad Puck. I enjoyed having you around!

            I honestly don’t know why we’re fighting amongst ourselves. We’re all Flames family..

            Why don’t ya guys just hug it out and be done with it?
            It’s kinda manly…

    • TheBigChef

      Biggest disappointment for me was not doing anything on the cap space front. It’s understandable no one wanted to take on Neal or Stone and doesn’t sound like there was much of a market for the Brodie or Frolik. But the cap space problem is self-inflicted, so going to have to get creative to fix it and not doing so before today means you don’t really get a chance to participate. Not just on free agents but on guys that become available in trades too. Sounds like they took a swing at Kadri but he wouldn’t waive (interested to see if the details of that ever come out–price tag was high). Gusev’s name is out there now too.

      Every day Tkachuk remains unsigned is another day Treliving is handcuffed in doing anything else meaningful. Hopefully the Timo Meier ($6M) and Aho ($8.5) contracts create a floor/ceiling and it gets done soon–and hopefully closer to the Meier deal. But you’re right–maybe not being able to do anything is better than giving Pat Maroon a Neal Deal.

    • calgaryfan

      Canadian teams have to pay up to get free agents. You may think it is too much for Talbot but a lot of players won’t even consider Canada unless they have no other option.

  • Franko J

    I am glad that day one of FA was pretty quiet for Treliving and company. They focused on a need and filled it. I like the signing of Talbot. While he struggled last year, I think that Rittich and Talbot are going to be a pretty good tandem. Just for the sake of competition alone both goalies have to prove it to the coaches who deserves to be in net. While losing Hathaway to FA does make the Flames a little less grittier and challenges the good chemistry on the PK, I still maintain that Treliving will continue to explore the trade market to fulfill that need on the RW. Going forward the priority is still trying to sign their in house RFA’s. While many posters appear to be disappointed with today’s results, I for one think day two, day three and so forth are just as important in finding the bargains. I still get a feeling from Treliving even today he is still little more than upset how the playoffs went for this team and is trying everything in his power to make them better.

    • Luter 1

      Well with a clear shortage of tenacity on this team we lost one more piece of that with Hathaway. I believe has a serious shortage of team toughness and most every team knows it. Wasn’t built for playoff hockey last year not any closer going into this season. Tre even knows it but painted himself into a corner with the asinine Neal contract.
      What bugs me is when he says this allows for Mang or Dube to step up. Yeah but not as one of our top hitting forwards who is filling that role?

  • WhiteKodiak

    Really kids? Some of you guys take this stuff WAY too seriously… I usually don’t say much but enjoy reading the comments…. I mean until the silliness… Walter, I dig it! Keep it up

    • Chucky

      It would probably be best if the temperature was lowered for a month or so. Maybe a break will get the impostors and trolls to look elsewhere for their entertainment. It would certainly reduce the stress on my scrolling finger.

  • Flint

    Perhaps this is me just trolling, but you have to think….
    Lehner + Gillies (or other 750k goalie such as Pickard) = 5,75 mil AAV
    Rittich + Talbot = ? guessing here …… (3,5 + 2,75) = 6,25 AAV

    I dunno. Optimistic man says we’ll get good goaltending. Pessimistic man says we could have had a Vezina finalist + a veteran backup with upside for less, and we’ll have a starter with few games and a backup who’s done.

    No way Lehner turns down more term than 1 yr.

    No pressure BSD and Dadbot. You two better perform.

  • freethe flames

    To those who are taking some time away from the site I hope you have a good summer. I took 40 days off during the height of the season. Hopefully when you return the trolls will be gone and BT has addressed some of the organizational needs; which are more than people suggest.