Brad Treliving has shown several trade tendencies as Calgary Flames general manager

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
The 2023 trade deadline will be the ninth for Brad Treliving as general manager of the Calgary Flames. Over the previous eight deadlines, Treliving’s shown several habits and tendencies when it comes to making trades.
Here are a few of Treliving’s trade tendencies.

He tends to make several trades with the same teams

Since becoming GM in 2014, Treliving’s made trades with 30 of the other 31 NHL teams – he hasn’t made any trades with the Vegas Golden Knights yet.
Treliving’s gone back to the same teams repeatedly, too, many more than one trade with a dozen different teams:
  • Six trades with Montreal
  • Four trades each with Chicago, Florida and Ottawa
  • Three trades each with Arizona and Los Angeles
Often, smaller trades have acted as precursors to larger ones. The first Treliving trade with Montreal was a draft weekend trade that saw the Flames trade a 2019 fourth-rounder for a 2018 fourth-rounder. That built into two fairly significant trades in 2022 – involving Tyler Toffoli and Sean Monahan – sandwiched around a minor-league swap involving goalie Michael McNiven.
Similarly, a rather minor swap of Corban Knight for Drew Shore with Florida turned into more significant trades involving Jiri Hudler, Sam Bennett and later Matthew Tkachuk. Suffice it to say, Treliving isn’t afraid to go back to managers he’s closed deals with in the past. He doesn’t lose phone numbers.

He tends to involve conditional picks in trades

If there’s one thing Treliving loves doing in trades, it’s including conditional picks. He’s made 13 trades as Flames GM that have involved conditional picks in some way.
Five of those trades were made in the run-up to the annual trade deadline:
  • A conditional 2016 second-rounder went to Calgary from Dallas in the Kris Russell trade at the 2016 deadline. That second-rounder could have turned into a first-rounder had Dallas made it to the Western Conference Final. The Flames “only” received a second-rounder, and used it to draft Dillon Dube.
  • A conditional 2018 fifth-rounder went to Arizona in the Michael Stone trade in 2017, tied to Stone re-signing with the Flames. (He did.)
  • The Flames made nearly identical trades with identical conditions with Los Angeles at the 2019 and 2020 deadlines, receiving Oscar Fantenberg in 2019 and Derek Forbort in 2020. In return, the Kings received fourth-round selections that could have turned into third-rounders had the Flames reached the Western Conference final (and the acquired defender played in 50% of their playoff games). (Had Forbort re-signed in Calgary, the pick would have converted, too.) Part of me wonders if Treliving called Rob Blake and asked if he wanted to do the same deal as last year.
  • When the Flames acquired Erik Gustafsson from Chicago at the 2020 deadline, they conditionally sent Chicago the earliest third-round pick they owned in 2020. The Flames could have obtained Edmonton’s third-rounder via conditions from from the Milan Lucic trade, but then the season was cut short due to the pandemic and it was quite the mess. Chicago simply received the earliest (only) third-rounder the Flames had, their own.
  • A conditional 2022 first-rounder and conditional 2024 fourth-rounder were involved in the 2022 Tyler Toffoli trade. If the Flames’ first-rounder was somehow top 10, they had the option of deferring the pick to 2023 (but then Montreal would get the fourth-rounder as additional compensation). The Flames’ pick was not top 10, so this condition was moot.

He doesn’t shy away from future considerations trades

Three times around the deadline, Treliving has been involved in “let’s find a guy a place to play” trades in the run-up to the trade deadline.
He acquired goalie Michael McNiven from Montreal for future considerations, then sent him to Ottawa a little later for futures. In 2020, he sent minor-league blueliner Brandon Davidson to San Jose for futures, as Davidson was on the NHL roster and wasn’t able to go back to the AHL (he had missed the waiver cut-off for demotion), so he was sent to the Sharks for free so he could play.

He’s made trades with salary retention a few times

The Flames have made three trades around deadline time that involved salary retention. All have been quite recent.
  • Los Angeles retained 50% of Derek Forbort’s salary in 2020.
  • The Flames retained 50% of David Rittich’s salary when he went to Toronto in 2021.
  • Seattle retained 50% of Calle Jarnkrok’s salary in 2022.


Join us on March 3rd for the Daily Faceoff Live: Trade Deadline edition as Frank Seravalli and the panel break down all of the latest rumours, news, and rumblings from around the NHL. The show will be live on YouTubeFacebook, and Twitter from 10 AM – 2 PM MT to keep you up to date on all things trade deadline no matter where you’re watching from.

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