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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Treliving on the cap: ‘We don’t have a lot of flexibility’

After the unveiling of new goaltender Cam Talbot, Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving chatted with the assembled media on Sunday at Winsport. Among the topics he touched upon was the club’s rather tight salary cap situation so far this off-season.

“We haven’t done a lot this summer just from the sense because it’s just the math,” said Treliving. “You can take the contracts that are on the books, what we expect that the ones aren’t on the books will cost and for us, we don’t have a lot of flexibility at this particular time. We’ve been active to try to create it in different forms and manners. We haven’t been able to. So, we continue to work at that. Like I said, we’ve been trying to get our internal business done. We’d like to tweak our team, we haven’t been able to do anything of that nature. It just hasn’t come our way. We haven’t been able to find things that fit. The good news is we’ve got a pretty good hockey club. But this may be a process that’s going to take us the lion’s share of the summer. We’ll continue to work at it.”

You can dig into the team’s cap situation over at PuckPedia, but the gist is this: the Flames need to make some moves to re-sign all their restricted free agents. Our projections have the team roughly $2.1 million over the cap if they re-sign everyone at roughly market value. But Treliving has reportedly been busy, kicking tires on everything from moving James Neal, trading TJ Brodie to Toronto, and potentially moving Michael Frolik – all while serving the two masters of the salary cap and improving the hockey club.

Though it likely doesn’t seem that way from the outside, the fact that four of the team’s six unsigned RFAs filed for salary arbitration is a good thing – whether through negotiations or the arbiter’s edict, all four will be under contract by early August. By sheer coincidence, having arbitration cases gives the Flames access to a second buyout window that they might need in order to creep under the salary cap ceiling.

That leaves two players without arbitration rights as the bulk of Treliving’s unfinished business: Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk.

“We’re still working away on it,” said Treliving, regarding Tkachuk’s pending deal. “Saw Matthew was riding a horse yesterday, so we were trying to run behind him here. Nothing new to report there other than the dialogue continues.”

Treliving has made four first round selections as general manager. His previous three signed fairly soon after their selection – Sam Bennett (2014, signed July 25), Tkachuk (2016, signed July 7) and Juuso Valimaki (2017, signed July 21). But given the number of irons the Flames have in the fire right now, don’t be shocked if Jakob Pelletier’s deal takes a little bit longer.

“No real rush right now,” said Treliving. “We’ve got some other things that are taking up our time right now. That’s not to say we will or won’t, but right now isn’t a focus point. We’ll see how that progresses later in the summer.”

  • Kevin R

    If Aho can get a front loaded deal down to a $8.4mill cap hit & I think he is a lot better than Chucky, then give Chucky a similar structured deal over 6 years & get that cap hit down to around 7.0ish. Not sure whats taking so long with Magpie, secretary must be on holiday & it hasnt been typed up yet or something, because that should be a fairly easy one. Allocate 6.5 mill for Rittch & Benny, buyout Stone & call it a day. Bobs your uncle!

        • Spider you muda&@#ker

          Monahan and Guadreau were low balled? Check Mckinnon’s contract I think its lower aav then Guadreau’s if anybody should be bitter its that guy but instead he’s bringing his play to elite levels. Salaries go up its the nature of the business hopefully Johnny and Monny stay professional and keep taking there game to new levels.

  • oddclod

    Almost got the dunce cap for tossing in Jankowski (with a Keith Primeau type ceiling) as a flyer for a salary dump never mind Kadri in exchange for Brodie which would have been a degeneration Back to the dark ages all in one swoop.

    I can only thank the hockey Gods for saving Tre from himself, but don’t appreciate how he wrecked Mark’s summer making him feel unmotivated to care about coming back to Calgary.

    As if the season and Playoffs weren’t bi-polar enough. SMH

    • MontanaMan

      I’m no Kadri fan but I think he’s exactly what the Flames need. Brodie is a smooth skating d-man soft as a pillow and one who makes far too many critical mistakes. A one-for-one trade between the two would have been a good deal for Calgary.

      • oddclod

        He’s damaged goods. Traded out of his home town for repeat selfish foolish behavior. Agree to disagree. Brodie is an asset good enough to fetch someone @ Kadri’s talent level. No need to talk about his obvious warts like you’re aware of something I’m not and need to validate why he needs to be traded. It’s not the topic of discussion. I think we’ll be happy when he is finally dealno for a decent forward and not a selfish bozo.

    • Flaming moe

      The Hockey Gods weren’t at play here my friend. The Hockey Gods didn’t save Tre. Nazem Kadri made the decision that he would not play in Calgary. You are completely accurate about the Jankowski situation though. That’s gotta be hard to hear that and then have to come back here and play.

      • oddclod

        He’s damaged goods. Traded out of his home town for repeat selfish foolish behavior. Agree to disagree. Brodie is an asset good enough to fetch someone @ Kadri’s talent level. No need to talk about his obvious warts like you’re aware of something we’re not. It’s not the topic of discussion. I think we’ll be happy when he is finally dealt for a decent forward and not a selfish bozo.

      • oddclod

        Moe…. So because Kadri made the decision… it has nothing to do with any mythical hockey gods? Seems like a rational arguement. You could be right. Kadri nixed the deal apart from external entities being present. I see your rationale, but am thankful the truth is the all powerful gods of puck were acting on behalf of Mr. Kadri & nixxed this deal with Toronto.

    • Luter 1

      If Marks summer is wrecked because Calgary is looking to toughen up, then an easy fix would be for him to start paying like he 6 ft 4 instead of 4ft 6. he’s got tons of ability and a lethal wrister but are the kind of guys that need to step up. If he would stay as aggressive as he plays on the PK (carrying the puck, driving the net) with regular shifts we would have a player. He just doesn’t want to get his hands dirty and doesn’t use his shot enough. Like to see BP use him on the second PP once in awhile.q

      • Speed Kills

        If one is being coached to be a responsible two way center and cover for an anchor of a RW, you have to pull back the reigns on your offensive side to cover defensively. Not to mention your D is usually the 3rd pairing with zero to very little offensive support in the O-Zone. Not Every Player is going to be given the green light to go full on attack like the first line has.
        Personally I’d like to see the top line be taught how to comeback/back-check and learn how to play or at least attempt to be prepositionally defensively responsible before headhunting players given that roll who under perform at offensive zone time.

      • Justthateasy

        It’s hard to know if we are talking work ethic here with Jankowski or just simply desire. Gawd if he is insulted by trade talk then we have a maturity problem here. If he is still on the team by season start then this would be a wake-up call to earn your way on this team.

      • Rockmorton65

        If Janko makes it to camp, we’ll get to see what he’s made of, character wise. He could come in guns blazing after a summer of working out or he could be a scared, shrinking violet. Either way, we’ll finally know what we have.

  • MontanaMan

    Did you read he blamed anyone for their current cap situation? No he didn’t take the hit himself but I can only guess he’s well aware who signed the Neal contract.

  • drogon

    Lack of flexibility is a good weapon to be used by BT during negotiations. Bennett & Rittich don’t have much leverage. Tkachuk is a RFA without arbitration rights and he’s not at the same level as Marner, Laine or Aho. Ballpark, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets $7.5M for 6 years with a package of bonuses attached.
    We’ll see how it unfolds by the end of July.
    The thing is every team knows our situation and many of them are tight, decreasing our trade assets value daily.
    I still believe that if we don’t upgrade the middle, next year playoffs will bring the same results.

  • RealMcHockeyReturns

    Creativity is needed here with an idea: A hockey trades made to help another cash-strapped Eastern team maybe…Pittsburgh who needs good bodies takes Brodie and Frolik for more depth at D (Letang May get hurt again JJ Ssucks) and Wing and Penalty Kill there (cap hit total $8.95M). We get apparently unwanted (by Pitt) but huge and tough C Nick Bjugstad and decent RW Bryan Rust plus RD Rudewhedel (helps our right D depth) to even out cap hits (Flames take 8.3M). Maybe a draft pick goes to Pitt since we get mostly younger players. Helps reshape Flames to be tougher and allow young D to move up lineup

    • freethe flames

      I have heard the rumors out of Pittsburg as well surrounding Bjugstad, The Pens have about $1.6 m in space so the deal would need to be interesting. There are other teams that TJ would like like a significant upgrade and with the Pens still wanting ride their stars this has some potential.

  • Trevy

    The way I see it is Tre will have no choice but to buy out Stone to give him the extra breathing space to sign all our RFA’s. At that point, he’ll have to continue to seek hockey trades to “tweak” the roster with some new blood. He’s obviously been trying, but endured two failed attempts. There is a hockey trade to be made with the likes of Brodie for sure, but I think it’s going to come at a price of adding a sweetener to give us a true top six player. This was demonstrated by the failed Kadri deal. If that’s the case, you do what’s necessary to improve your roster. Tre knows he put himself in this situation, but every free agent signing is a gamble and not a home run

    • Kevin R

      That failed Kadri trade actually did have a little bit of cap savings for the Leafs or close to a wash. Janko is almost 2.0 mill cheaper than what Leafs had to re-sign Kerfoot with. Avs had to eat salary to extract that 3rd rounder & Barrie is going to be a lot more costly to re-sign than Brodie. Also Brown was a cap dump on Dubas agenda as well. Janko would have been an interesting 3rd line centre option for the Leafs & possibly cheaper to re-sign than Kerfoot. For Flames, putting Kadri in the fold meant we had no room for Janko. Made sense. Gave Peters lots of options to shuffle the top 9 while keeping Monahan, Backlund & Kadri at centre. But alas it didnt happen. Onward.

  • MDG1600

    The Neal signing is proving to be catastrophically bad for Tre. He had to know this cap crunch was coming but I guess he felt Neal was the guy to make the Flames a playoff contender. Instead we get a guy who was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. I am still astonished that no one on the Flames scouting staff picked up on Neals declining skills and godawful slow feet. I suspect the Flames were the high bid that won Neals services as a UFA because other teams with better scouts identified that Mr. Neal was on the decline and a risky gamble.

    • freethe flames

      This is the first place to look at creating the cap space needed and I suspect that Tre has asked ownership about it and they said no. Many have said that the final 4 years of a Neal buyout would hamstring this team and I don’t agree. The final 4 years at @2m will mean that the Flames can’t sign a 5/6/7 defenceman or a 4th line forward; both of which should be able to be filled by an ELC player if drafting a development continue. The key is not to sign another bad contract to replace this one.(How much further ahead would this team be if we had suffered one more year of Brouwer and had not signed Neal)

      • Skylardog

        Not so – I clearly did not like the signing at the time it was done and said so back then. I also predicted the cap issues in December or January and was furious over the lack of moves at the TDL because of the very reason we find ourselves in now. This is going down exactly as I predicted.

        • BendingCorners

          Yes, you did say that. I was willing to wait and see, figuring Neal would at least be of some use. I’ve waited and I’ve seen. The Flames won’t win a cup with Neal on the roster. They might not win one anyway, but Neal makes it certain. Even if he doubles last year’s output, he won’t be worth his money. For that matter, 20 goals is not worth 5.75, so he won’t be worth his money no matter what.
          The question is, how to get rid of him this summer?
          Buyout? Trade with salary retained and picks or a good player going out? Trade with no retention and better player going? Persuade him to retire by offering him a cushy job in one of Edward’s other businesses? LTIR him for “fatigue”?
          Gaudreau is here for three more years, so fixing the Neal and Stone issues is important for the current cycle.

    • Luter 1

      Bang on. Very disappointed that this organization firstly thought he was the answer and secondly sign him long-term. I’m not in the fire Tre camp but he’s got two strikes – Brouwer, Neal and the ridiculous talk about Maroon would be strike 3.

  • RKD

    He only wants to tweak the team no knight in shining armour will come save us. It’s up to our guys to man up next season and fight when it comes playoff time. The top players didn’t show up, we gave up over 200 shot in the series. Being #1 was a curse the guys thought they were home and cool after February 1st.

  • Abagofpucks

    What BT does this summer will define him as your GM and a lot could go wrong. When your not dealing from strength and every gm out there knows it, your going to have a hard time making good deals that help your team

  • super6646

    I mean BT only has himself to blame for a lack of flexibility. When you have over 10 million invested in a 4th liner (and that’s how Neal produced this year), a #7D, and a Brouwer buyout, that’s a lot of deadcap and underperforming pieces. I also wonder when Frolik will finally be moved… first it was the deadline, then the draft, and then free agency. Still waiting on that, and as more teams fill out their cap, the market for him likely decreases even further.

  • Skylardog

    Today is day 80 of 168 days between games. SO far, we have signed just one RFA that could potentially play in Calgary next season (Quine), and picked up a goalie that even Philly didn’t want.

    In other words, nearly half way through a summer with basically nothing to show for one of the busiest times of the year.

    No cap help
    No lineup improvements
    No RFA’s that really matter signed
    No deadwood being sent out

    • Off the wall

      It’s raining in Victoria and I have to work. It’s not getting any sunnier on FN. I can’t control the weather, anymore then I can control my need to tell stories.
      But I won’t today, cuz I’m supposed to be working already.

      We’re all starting to sound like the Scrooge guy, who yells at the clouds. I bet ya he doesn’t even have a lawn!

      I’m trying to be positive, however we know Treliving painted himself into a corner.

      He has two options;
      1. Walk through the paint and make more of a mess
      2. Wait for the paint to dry and put the finishing touches on the corner.

      I don’t know what the plans are, however I think our only option is #2.

      If we’re still discussing this in August, then I’ll be worried.

      Until then, here’s a little sunshine ☀️

      You’re welcome to walk on my lawn, it’s brown and dead..

      • Skylardog

        In fairness to Tre, he usually gets his RFA’s signed between now and July 31.

        Is there a prime time in the summer to dump cap though? The Leafs have done almost all of their heavy lifting for the summer. Vegas and SJ have made moves to get themselves near or in compliance.

          • Skylardog

            Actually, Toronto is very close. The 1 issue is Nathan Horton who has a $5.3M hit, but can go onto LTIR. That would leave about $9.8M left to sign Marner and a full roster. They have some tweeking to do to get within the cap.

            I am sure they do not plan on using Horton on LTIR unless they have to however.

    • BendingCorners

      No, because he is one of the high-value players that teams need to keep. Flames have four forwards and three defensemen (four counting Gio but he will likely retire in a few years) that need to be kept even at a high price. And maybe one goaltender. Everybody else should be considered sellable, although I’d be happier keeping Bennett than not.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        If anyone is going to round out his game it will be Tkachuk. I am sure he has the best skating instructor and even taking boxing lessons…he has not even come close to plateauing.

        Now Johnny concerns me. He has had to prove people wrong at all levels by pushing to be better than bigger skilled players. The last game against Colorado really showed his warts. He tried to carry the team and over compensate for his slumping line mates. He had 2 breakaways and numerous grade A scoring chances but could not finish….when we needed him the most. If he scores on one of his early break always we change the course of the game. He was letting his frustration get to him and started feeling bad for himself.

        So the big question is does Johnny have that fire to hire a nutritionist, personal chef and skill trainer to help with his shot and breakaways to take it to the next level. Or does he sit back and relax in his new frat house in New Jersey. It is not going to be easy to see your teammates sign contracts worth significantly more than you make when you are the undisputed best player on the team.

    • MDG1600

      If Tkachuk wants more than $8M he isn’t worth it unless his skating improves. IMHO he was ineffective 5v5 against Colorado largely because he couldn’t keep up with the pace set by McKinnons line. Neither could Monny.

  • SouthernFlame

    Looking on that PuckPedia site it shows Bennett being a UFA in 3 years and Mangi and Chucky being UFA’s in 4 years? So is that real? Did they all decide on how long just not how much yet? Or am I losing it?

    • BendingCorners

      Maybe, but I think the problem is more that in 2014 Bennett was chosen instead of Nylander or Ehlers. Bennett was considered the better prospect, but if BT had chosen one of those two instead, there would have been no need to shore up scoring by signing Brouwer or Neal. And no money since those two are paid more.
      BT is trying, but if you don’t get lucky in the draft (2014 was not a strong year) then filling in with trades and UFA signings is very very difficult.

      • Luter 1

        Bennett is not the problem in fact two or three more like him and we would be serious contenders. I would rather be 5 or 6 in the division and give it to somebody in the first round ( preferably Colorado) but won’t happen with this lineup.

        • BendingCorners

          No, Bennett is not a problem. He has a lot of fine attributes. But Bennett not being elite is a problem, because a re-building team needs to hit on its top picks. Miss one, and team’s potential shrinks dramatically.

          • freethe flames

            As long as he gets paid as the 3rd LW and performs as a third LW this is not a problem. The missed opportunity is true but again hindsight. The question is how to move forward.

      • drogon

        @BendingCorners… That’s a great comment, BT’s biggest mistake. It was his first year as GM. Very costly, too bad we cannot time travel. Bennett was supposed to become a solid 1C. I believe management still hopes that someday he will become that player. BT might not be perfect GM, but when I look around in the NHL, he’s pretty sharp.

  • freethe flames

    Tre needs a way to make a hockey trade that opens up some cap space. There are all sorts of rumours out that have teams wanting to move on from players. The key is finding the right match. Prior to the draft and FA starting i was hoping that BT would get some draft picks and cap space; now that almost everyone I had hoped we could get has been signed I hope he makes a hockey trade to add to the top 6. I’m not sure who that would be for but that is now what I am hoping for. Trading Brodie probably means we keep Stone at least in the short run.

  • BendingCorners

    This has turned into a very quiet summer. Without a buyout, a trade (Frolik or Brodie, I’m guessing) for a pick or a prospect is probably the only way to free up enough cap space, unless Tkachuk agrees to a cheap one-year deal.
    The silence may turn out to be a good thing, since it gives the current roster one more year to prove they can adapt to playoff hockey. Not nearly as exciting as getting a bunch of shiny new toys, but if they make the playoffs and go deeper this year than last, it will have been worth the wait.

    • freethe flames

      We are currently at $9.4m in cap space with 21 players signed, you can add about $2.6 if you ship Quine, Gilles, and Stone to the AHL. That gives BT @$13m to sign Tkachuk, Rittich, Bennett, and Mangiapane. If you buy out Stone you add another $1.2m to the cost which probably gets him under the cap. If Czarnik is the guy sent down and Quine stays up you can add about another$400k. It can be done. But based upon what other teams have done this offseason; standing still means falling back.

      • BendingCorners

        9.4 + 2.6 = 12 not 13, but yes, if there is a buyout it can probably be made to work. Myself, I’d go bold and make bigger moves, but if quiet is BT’s choice, then we just have to hope the current roster plays better next spring.

        • freethe flames

          Yup my bad math. It remains tight. What I don’t get is how a guy like TJ can’t be moved; he would be a top 4 defender on most teams in the NHL, his cap hit team friendly(yes only one year left but that makes him easier to move at the TDL a way to recoup what you paid for him); he has averaged 36 points a year for 6 years and has had no season below 30 in that period.

          • drogon

            Probably because TJ Brodie wants to be closer home, Senators, Canadiens, Red Wings,… limiting the number of trade partners. He does have a M-NTC, with a 8 team no trade list, but I believe BT is playing nice and wants to get him the closest he can. TJ Brodie is not a bad apple… like Frolik.

          • freethe flames

            @dragon; if you look at the Sens and Wings D TJ would be an upgrade over their current rosters. The Habs have already added on D and are probably looking to use their cap space on a forward. With the Bogosian injury Buffalo would be another place that would fit TJ’s desire to be close to home.The Sens and Wings have players, picks and cap space to add TJ; the Sabres have cap space but fewer assets. Hopefully something happens.

          • drogon

            @freethe flames… Something will happen soon… BT is searching for a very specific asset, a 2C… Within a distance of 1,000 kms: Red Wings Andreas Athanasiou?, Maple Leafs William Nylander?, Black Hawks Artem Anisimov?, Blues Brayden Schenn, Predators Kyle Turris, Blue Jackets Alexander Wennberg, Penguins Nick Bjugstad?, Rangers None, Islanders Brock Nelson, Flyers Sean Couturier, Canadiens None, Bruins Charlie Coyle?, Sabres Sam Reinhart?, Capitals Lars Eller?, Devils None… UFA Derick Brassard…

        • freethe flames

          This is from capfriendly: What is a Buried Contract?
          Teams do not receive full cap relief when a player on a one-way NHL contract is reassigned to the American Hockey League, or is loaned to a team in another professional league.
          The players salary cap hit, minus the sum of the minimum NHL salary for the respective season and $375,000, still counts towards the team’s salary cap total.
          The cap hit relief is therefore equal to the minimum salary of the respective season + $375,000:
          2014-15: $550,000 + $375,000 = $925,000
          2015-16: $575,000 + $375,000 = $950,000
          2016-17: $575,000 + $375,000 = $950,000
          2017-18: $650,000 + $375,000 = $1,025,000
          2018-19: $650,000 + $375,000 = $1,025,000
          2019-20: $700,000 + $375,000 = $1,075,000
          2020-21: $700,000 + $375,000 = $1,075,000
          2021-22: $750,000 + $375,000 = $1,125,000

          • freethe flames

            So if I understand this correctly the Flames still have to pay a player his complete salary if he is on a 1 way deal but up to $1, 075m can be reduced from the teams cap hit. So you send Stone down his $3.5m becomes a cap hit of $2.475m. 3 of those mean a saving of $3m and change. So as I said befor if it’s Stone, Gilles and Czarnik tehe Flames save about $2.8 in cap relief.

      • Skylardog

        Gillies is not included in all the calculations is he? Quine is signed for $735,000 but he would have to be replaced to fill out the 23 man roster. Who has a smaller hit than that? And Stone only creates $1.075M of cap relief if set down, so how does that help other than pocket change? Yes we can send down a DMan, but we still need a 23 players.

        I have the roster at $10.223 of remaining cap with 20 players, needing to sign Benny, Ritter and Tkachuk. That would give us 13 forwards, 8 D, and 2 goalies once those signings are done.

        • Skylardog

          Whoops – Mangi too. I guess we could deduct Quine then or a Dman. Doesn’t really change the math though. We are about $4.5M short today just to sign what we have.

        • freethe flames

          Sky: the way I read capfriendly id that we currently have 21 players signed with 4 yet to be signed(Tkachuk, Rittich, Bennett and Mangiapane) this means that Quine and Gilles are included in the cap friendly numbers. A team does not need to carry 23 players; most teams do, 23 is the max. I think they can have a few as 21. 22 was the norm for quite a number of years. So if we sign all the guys listed that puts us to 25; send 3 down. If it’s say Czarnik, Stone and Gilles we save @$2.8m. If someone claims any of them then they are off the cap.

    • Albertabeef

      No seriously that picture just looked like he just finished balling his eyes out for the last hour. Either that or his smoked a big fat joint 5 minutes earlier.

  • Rockmorton65

    This is such a weird off season. The number of high profile RFA’s, to the uncertainty about the cap ceiling to the, seemingly, suddenly shift where cap space is king. Not to mention the Flames needing to figure out how to go from being a good team to a great one for the first time in recent memory. This is a good team. There are one or two pieces needed, but I have faith they can get it done.

    Give Tre some time. This isn’t “sell everything not nailed down for the best offer of picks & prospects”. It’s looking for a specific kind of player, at a specific position. Plus the team that has that player needs to need the player(s) they are willing to trade. That is a very unique set of circumstances.

    If this team looks the same at the end of August, there might be cause for concern, but not to the levels some are suggesting here.

    • freethe flames

      You and OTW are preaching patience and I get it. The problem is that there have been some missed opportunities b/c of the lack of cap space. Now this may be a blessing but as more and more teams fine tune their teams some might see a need to make a hockey trade for a player like TJ and to a lesser extent Frolik. The cap issue can get resolved internally but getting better and filling the needs of the line up require a trade(the possibilities here are wide open) or via FA but most of the players that would have fit our needs have been signed and some to fair deals(now they may not have signed here for the same deal but I doubt we could even try)

      As a fan I would rather have something positive to talk about rather than worrying about cap issues.

      • Trevy

        Something that maybe stalling signing/trades thus far, was Carolina still officially waiting to match the Habs offer sheet. That has been done earlier today. So now we may see some talks happening that may cause a domino effect

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        If our only move is Kreider for Brodie…I will be a happy guy. What do you think it would take to pry Wilson from Washington. I would love to how Johnny could play with a skilled bodyguard. Would Brodie plus or Backlund do it? It may take Monny but then we could ask for more like a pick. I get the feeling he could score 40 with Johnny.

      • freethe flames

        They won the west, lost a glue guy(Hathaway) and got a different goalie. Meanwhile many teams in West got better and we at best stayed the same . We got soundly beat in the first round and played poorly the final quarter of the season so yes, we are frustrated that no positive changes have yet to happen.

        • HOCKEY83

          Many teams in the west got better because they were garbage in the first place. It’s a lot harder to get better than the best as in Calgary’s situation. They got beat in the first round due to lack of experience not only in players but coaching as well. It was on odd year for first and second place teams moving forward in the playoffs and reffing was also at an all time worst ever in playoff history situation. As I’ve said before it may be forever before any canadian team wins a stanley cup let alone the Flames but here’s hoping they’ve matured a little over the summer to give it a good run this season. Just getting out of the first round would be a win in my books.

          • freethe flames

            Dallas? Colorado who had their way with us in the playoffs? They were garbage; then why did we struggle with them. We at best have stood still and other teams have added. This team for all of it’s strengths has some issues and so far have not been addressed. I said after the end of the season we are short two solid middle six forwards; ideally more top 6 kind of guys. 1 would be a center and the other a RW. Adding one would be a huge step and I would happy with that as a guy like Mangiapane might be able to fill the other role. Yes the Flames are not falling apart nor is the sky falling but the shortcomings of this team have yet to be addressed; and yes I know it is early July.

          • HOCKEY83

            Dallas has 11 31 to 35 year olds on their team. Very happy the flames aren’t in that position right now. I’m perfectly happy to see a few of the young players moved up at the low salaries the flames have them at at the moment and also hope that the younger vets have taken a step forward this season. I think the flames have one of the best balances of young talented players at very good salaries in the entire league even with Neal’s crappy salary. I’m confident they’ll get their house in order before the season starts and put a competitive team on the ice this season. This is just the beginning of the cap problems for every team. It will get far worse than what’s going on now for everyone. Over 82 games the flames haven’t been this fun to watch since the late 80’s early 90’s. I’m stoked for this season and hope for a better effort in the playoffs.

  • idbr

    BT is not an idiot or anything close to that. Please stop throwing around terms like idiot and garbage around when talking about people (particularly when you are being anonymous about who you are). Disagreeing and questioning is fine.

    There are many complicating factors for a GM. Many different people have different views on the direction of where the team should go (this is quite evident on this site), we are not privy to what the owners are telling him and what their agenda is (they sign his paycheque), how knowledgable are the people around him (pro scouts), what’s the agenda of the players themselves, etc. This is a tonne to know and and there is a tonne of luck involved. There are also the factors of playing in Canada and our taxes involved. He is known as one of the hardest working and is much more knowledgable on the inner workings of the organization and league than we are. He’s made many good moves and some that have not worked out well. He’s also gained a knowledge and experience that he will take to his next organization if he is fired. I’d rather keep the knowledge, experience, and work ethic than give it away. Just my opinion, growing tired of all the negativity. We won the Western Conference last year we should be celebrating.

    • Franko J

      @ idbr
      The positive factor was the team won the West Division last year and surprised a number of fans, media and pundits alike.
      While I can only represent myself by saying that the less than stellar ending to the Flames season last year is what has most people here worried and a bit skeptical. I was anticipating changes were going to happen sometime during the NHL draft as well. When nothing materialized and with the lack of movement with the Flames RFA has only fueled most peoples cynicism of Treviling. Personally I feel the Flames will be in the mix next year again and I am confident that sometimes a team has to face adversity and hardship in order to progress.

      • cberg

        Last year was a huge positive and the season was very enjoyable to watch, the best in years. The playoffs ended shockingly fast, as it did for many teams, but 2 bounces and it would have been the Flames walking into the second round. The Flames got spanked in game 2 and seemingly gave up in game 5, but otherwise were in position to win the rest and control the series. Stuff happens.

        For all the guys on here demeaning the Flames and BT, they are mostly the same ones calling for changes, changes, changes. Unfortunately, not all change is good, you only have to look at the annual TDL deals to see that ~90% never pan out and actually make their teams worse with all the draft picks given away. We also know of at least 3 mega-trades for top-level key players that fell through that the Flames were in on right up to the last gasp, yet never materialized. Kind of reminds me of the Iginla trade, but that is another matter….. These 3 trades would be for Marc Stone, then Jason Zucker and most recently Nazeem Kadri. Since NONE of us know the details of those failed deals it is very hard to criticize BT in anything other than complete ignorance.

        At the same time he has pulled off three of the biggest mega-trades of the past several years for key players, building the team from a lottery rebuild to #2 in the league and conference champions very quickly. These would be for 3 top-2/4 D and a top-3 C/RW. The players specifically are Dougie Hamilton, Travis Hamonic, Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm. He has also added other key pieces and brought up a number of vital prospects which should stoke success for years to come.

        Certainly some of his pick-ups have not worked out to expectation but the trajectory of the team clearly shows that overall he is on point and doing way better than average.

        Unfortunately, many of the current posters are pushing negativity, including the lack of change narrative as another negative. Funny thing, I thought lack of change will most likely result in another playoffs and again fighting for the Division & Conference titles? Assuming our RFAs get signed (MT-just take a 3yr bridge….) I’d say that is a pretty safe bet.

  • Oscar the Grouch

    Brad and I have something in common. I like garbage and so does Brad.

    I can spend over 5 million dollars and get better trash than
    Jimmy Neal.

    Trash all you want. I enjoy the smell

  • Derzie

    I like the cap concept but it is too tight. When the majority of teams have cap issues, the spirit of the cap is lost. It should really only affect the top 5 and bottom 5 spending teams, if the numbers were correct.
    Right now, the teams that should be feeling the crunch are Vegas, Arizona, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Dallas at the ceiling and Colorado, Winnipeg, Ottawa, NJ & Columbus at the floor. Calgary is 20th and should not even be worrying about the cap. Bettman is a dope, straight up.