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What did the Calgary Flames get out of Brad Treliving’s 2014 opening roster?

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Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
8 months ago
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Nine years back, the Calgary Flames hired Brad Treliving as their general manager. Coming into the job, Treliving inherited a team with a pretty lean farm system and a big-league roster that finished fourth-from-last in the previous season.
So what did Treliving inherit and what was he able to get out of that group?
Via the NHL, here’s the official season-opening roster from the 2013-14 campaign:
  • Goaltenders Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo
  • Defencemen TJ Brodie, Raphael Diaz, Deryk Engelland, Mark Giordano, Kris Russell, Ladislav Smid and Dennis Wideman
  • Forwards Mikael Backlund, Brandon Bollig, Lance Bouma, Paul Byron, Joe Colborne, Johnny Gaudreau, Curtis Glencross, Jiri Hudler, David Jones, Brian McGrattan, Sean Monahan, Mason Raymond, Devin Setoguchi and Matt Stajan
All due respect to the individuals involved, but this was a roster that on paper didn’t seem primed for success. The captain was an undrafted veteran who had inherited the C the previous year after Jarome Iginla’s departure, and the roster was incredibly lean on homegrown draft picks. Heck, you can count them: they had five on the active roster (Brodie, Backlund, Bouma, Gaudreau and Monahan).

So what did they get out of them as players?

Five of the opening 2014 players dressed for over 400 games for the Flames, with the quintet of Backlund, Gaudreau, Monahan, Giordano and Brodie providing a lot of quality hockey over their tenures with the club.
Of the remaining 18 players on the opening roster, only nine played more than 100 games for the club after that point, though. A lot of the players that Treliving inherited ended up being short-term players for the organization, but that’s usually to be expected for a club that’s in the midst of a rebuild.

So what did they get out of them as assets?

Here’s how the 23 players from the 2014-15 opening roster departed the Flames organization:
  • Left as free agents (12): Hiller, Ramo, Brodie, Diaz, Smid, Wideman, Bollig, Colborne, Gaudreau, McGrattan, Setoguchi, Stajan
  • Claimed in expansion drafts (2): Engelland, Giordano
  • Claimed on waivers (1): Byron
  • Bought out (2): Bouma, Raymond
  • Traded (5): Russell, Glencross, Hudler, Jones, Monahan
  • Still on team (1): Backlund
Of the dozen players that walked as free agents after their time with the Flames was completed, again, the Flames got several hundred games out of Brodie and Gaudreau, and a good amount of games out of several others. Additionally, Stajan ended up being a really useful mentor for a lot of young players in the Flames system as they entered the NHL during his tenure.
Similarly, Engelland and Giordano being selected by Vegas and Seattle respectively during the expansion processes prevented the Flames losing other, younger players to those teams. Engelland was a pending free agent, so the Flames were potentially going to lose him anyway, and Giordano had played oodles of games already and was exposed in expansion so that the Flames could protect three younger blueliners (Chris Tanev, Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin) in expansion.
Four of the five trades involving 2014 Flames turned out fairly well for the Flames, featuring pending UFAs being traded for assets. The fifth was a pure cap dump after injuries wore a really good player down:
  • Curtis Glencross went to Washington at the 2015 trade deadline in exchange for second and third-round picks in 2015; the picks were packaged by the Flames and used in other trades. The second-round pick was sent to Boston as part of the Dougie Hamilton trade, while the third-round pick was used to trade up to draft Oliver Kylington.
  • Kris Russell went to Dallas at the 2016 trade deadline in exchange for a 2016 second-round pick, defenceman Jyrki Jokipakka and forward Brett Pollock; the pick was used to select Dillon Dube. (The pick was conditional, and would have become a first-round pick if Dallas had made the third round of the playoffs in 2016.)
  • Jiri Hudler went to Florida at the 2016 trade deadline in exchange for a 2016 second-round pick and a 2018 fourth-round pick; the 2016 pick was used to select Tyler Parsons and the 2018 pick was used to select Demetrios Koumontzis.
  • David Jones went to Minnesota at the 2016 trade deadline in exchange for goaltender Niklas Backstrom and a 2016 sixth-round pick; the pick was used to select Matthew Phillips.
  • Sean Monahan was sent to Montreal along with a conditional 2025 first-round pick (previously acquired in a trade with Florida) in exchange for “future considerations;” the trade was a pure cap dump after Monahan’s injuries caught up with him and the Flames needed the cap space to sign Nazem Kadri.
Treliving inherited a somewhat flawed roster when he arrived in 2014, retaining much of a group that finished fourth-from-last overall the previous season. But the core of that group, in hindsight, was likely better than anticipated, and formed the basis for a team that made the playoffs every other year during his tenure.
From an asset management perspective only a handful of players were flipped for future assets, but the Flames got a pretty good amount of hockey out of many of those 2014 players.

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