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Craig Conroy’s first 10 trades as Calgary Flames general manager were much different than Brad Treliving’s

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Photo credit:@NHLFlames on Twitter
Ryan Pike
28 days ago
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On Wednesday morning, the Calgary Flames bid farewell to Jacob Markstrom as they sent him to New Jersey. The trade concluded several months of chatter dating back to before the trade deadline regarding Markstrom’s future, and it also represented the 10th trade made by Flames general manager Craig Conroy.
When you compare Conroy’s first 10 trades to the first 10 made by his predecessor Brad Treliving, it’s pretty clear that the two men approached their jobs as GM a little differently… and stepped into their roles in pretty distinct circumstances from each other.

A brief history of Brad Treliving’s first 10 trades

Treliving was hired on April 28, 2014, and it took him just shy of 22 months to make 10 trades.
  • June 28, 2014: traded 2014 third-round pick to Chicago for Brandon Bollig
  • Jan. 9 2015: traded Corban Knight to Florida for Drew Shore
  • Mar. 1, 2015: traded Curtis Glencross to Washington for 2015 second-round pick and 2015 third-round pick
  • Mar. 2, 2015: traded Sven Baertschi to Vancouver for 2015 second-round pick
  • June 26, 2015: traded 2015 first-round pick and two 2015 second-round picks to Boston for Dougie Hamilton
  • June 27, 2015: traded two 2015 third-round picks to Phoenix for 2015 second-round pick
  • July 1, 2015: traded Max Reinhart to Nashville for conditional 2016 fourth-round pick (not exercised)
  • Oct. 4, 2015: traded conditional 2016 seventh-round pick (not exercised) to Colorado for Freddie Hamilton
  • Nov. 12, 2015: traded future considerations to Tampa Bay for Kevin Poulin
  • Feb. 22, 2016: traded Markus Granlund to Vancouver for Hunter Shinkaruk
When Treliving was hired, then-Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke threw some praise towards his predecessor, former GM Jay Feaster, noting that Feaster did a good job “shovelling out the barn.” By that he meant, Feaster did a lot of the grunt work as GM of getting some of the more troublesome contracts and older veteran players off the roster, which paved the way for Treliving to build on a fairly blank canvas. Treliving didn’t have to tear anything down, and so that framed how he went about his business during his early tenure as GM.
Treliving inherited a few decent young players that grew into core pieces – notably Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau – and he tended to do most of his team-building work through free agency, with trades like adding Dougie Hamilton sprinkled in here and there. Most of his early trades were minor moves shuffling around depth or minor league players – heck, he made three consecutive trades in 2015 when only a single asset ended up changing hands.
Overall, Treliving’s first 10 trades involved eight assets traded out in return for seven assets. The Flames received zero first-round picks, but traded away their 2015 pick as part of the Hamilton swap.

A brief history of Craig Conroy’s first 10 trades

Conroy was hired on May 23, 2023, and it took him just shy of 13 months to make 10 trades.
  • June 27, 2023: traded Tyler Toffoli to New Jersey for Yegor Sharangovich and 2023 third-round pick
  • Nov. 30, 2023: traded Nikita Zadorov to Vancouver for 2026 third-round pick and 2024 fifth-round pick
  • Jan. 31, 2024: traded Elias Lindholm to Vancouver for Andrei Kuzmenko, Hunter Brzustewicz, Joni Jurmo, 2024 first-round pick and 2024 fourth-round pick
  • Feb. 28, 2024: traded Chris Tanev (50% salary retained) to New Jersey for Cole Brady
  • Feb. 28, 2024: traded Brady to Dallas for Artem Grushnikov, 2024 second-round pick and conditional 2026 third-round pick (not exercised)
  • Mar. 6, 2024: traded Noah Hanifin (50% salary retained) to Philadelphia for Mikhail Vorobyov
  • Mar. 6, 2024: traded Vorobyov to Vegas for Daniil Miromanov, 2026 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick
  • Mar. 7, 2024: traded Emilio Pettersen to Dallas for Riley Damiani
  • Mar. 8, 2024: traded 2024 fifth-round pick to San Jose for Nikita Okhotiuk
  • June 19, 2024: traded Jacob Markstrom (31.25% salary retained) to New Jersey for Kevin Bahl and 2025 first-round pick
So… you might recall that Treliving inherited a team where the tear-down had basically already happened for him, and he was able to just build. Conroy didn’t have that luxury. As a result, Conroy had the unenviable task of figuring out what pieces to keep long-term, and making trades of big pieces who didn’t fit the club’s long-term plans (or the club into the player’s plans).
In the past 13 months, Conroy traded six NHL regulars in fairly major trades, including two multi-team trades and three instances of the team retaining salary. In the history of that cap mechanism, the Flames have done it four times: three of them were in Conroy’s first 10 trades.
Conroy’s publicly stated that he sees the draft and trades as the main mechanisms for team-building, and how he’s operated in the trade market reflects that. He’s gotten a mix of young roster players and picks in most major trades he’s made so far. Conroy’s first 10 trades saw seven assets (all players) sent out in exchange for 17 assets (nine players, eight picks). The Flames have added three first-round picks so far under Conroy.

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