Brad Treliving has been the Calgary Flames general manager since the spring of 2014. During his reign as the head of hockey operations, he has guided the club through six trade deadlines.
Here’s a brief snapshot of how Treliving has handled the occasion.
The Flames were on track to make the playoffs, but not a shoo-in, during the 2015 trade deadline. As such, Treliving made what are known as “asset accumulation” moves during that cycle.
On the actual deadline day, he sent Sven Baertschi – who had requested a trade – to Vancouver in exchange for a second round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. (The Flames used that pick on Rasmus Andersson of the OHL’s Barrie Colts.)
In the run-up to the deadline, he sent pending UFA Curtis Glencross to Washington for second and third round picks in 2015. Those picks allowed the Flames to both (a) trade for Dougie Hamilton and (b) trade up at the draft to pick Oliver Kylington.
The Flames were in a similar position in 2016: not guaranteed a playoff spot, but in the mix. (They ended up missing.) Treliving remained in asset accumulation mode.
On deadline day, he made two moves:
- Pending UFA Kris Russell was sent to Dallas for Jyrki Jokipakka, prospect Brett Pollock, and a conditional 2016 second round pick. (The pick ended up being Dillon Dube.)
- Pending UFA David Jones was sent to Minnesota for third-string goalie Niklas Backstrom, who rushed home from the mall to fax in his waiving of his no-trade clause, and a 2016 sixth round pick. (The pick ended up being Matthew Phillips.)
In the run-up to the deadline, he traded Markus Granlund to Vancouver for Hunter Shinkaruk, and sent pending UFA Jiri Hudler to Florida for a 2016 second round pick (used on Tyler Parsons) and a 2018 fourth round pick (used on Demetrios Koumontzis).
The Flames were a likely playoff team at the 2017 deadline. Treliving made trades that tinkered with the roster depth a bit.
Depth defender Jyrki Jokipakka and a 2017 second round pick were sent to Ottawa for depth forward Curtis Lazar and AHL defenseman Michael Kostka. The second rounder turned into Alex Formenton, and Lazar didn’t turn into much of anything in Calgary.
A week before the trade deadline, Treliving added Michael Stone from Arizona in exchange for a 2017 third round pick and a conditional 2018 fifth round that was converted when Stone re-signed. (Stone was later bought out with a year remaining on that contract, then re-signed twice to one year deals at league minimum.)
The Flames were a bubble team in 2018 and they made one deadline day trade aimed at auditioning a potential fourth line center, sending a 2019 seventh round pick to Ottawa for Nick Shore. Shore wasn’t great and left as a free agent in the off-season, but the price was the 212th pick in a 217 pick draft so it was a worthwhile gamble.
This deadline began a series of trades we’d like to refer to “We’re not sold on Oliver Kylington, so let’s trade picks for more defensemen.” In this year’s installment, the Flames sent a conditional 2020 fourth round pick to Los Angeles for Oscar Fantenberg. Fantenberg was decent if unspectacular and left as a free agent in the off-season, so the conditional pick remained a fourth rounder.
In 2020, the Flames had a lot of stuff going on, with some injuries and some trades they weren’t sure would come together. Since they weren’t sure if they could add non-Kylington depth via trade, they kept Brandon Davidson on the roster past the midday AHL roster deadline.
Before the deadline, two defensemen were added:
- A conditional 2020 third rounder was traded to Chicago for Erik Gustafsson
- A conditional 2021 fourth rounder was traded to Los Angeles for Derek Forbort
Because now the Flames had too many defensemen and Davidson wasn’t eligible to be sent to the AHL anymore, they traded him to San Jose for future considerations just so he’d have a place to play.
Gustafsson and Forbort both left as free agents over the off-season, so the conditional pick in Forbort’s trade remained a fourth rounder.
Sum it up
When it comes to “selling” trades, Treliving tends to do pretty well. If nothing else, he’s shown really nice returns from punting on players who are pending UFAs. Adding picks gave the scouts more ammunition on draft weekend, and they tend to give GMs opportunity to add via trade during the draft, too.
The rental trades Treliving has made are less impressive generally, as the club sent out a bunch of middle round picks for some questionable depth additions. (That’s not to say that the depth didn’t help the team, but they didn’t really have any playoff success, most of the additions didn’t really move the needle significantly beyond what the club already had on the roster, and they were out draft capital that could’ve been useful to select prospects with.)
It’s much harder to look smart with rental trades than it is with selling trades, but Treliving has definitively been better at one style of deadline swap than the other.