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Grading all of Brad Treliving’s trades as Calgary Flames GM

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
The 2022 National Hockey League trade deadline will be the eighth at the helm for Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving. Since joining the Flames as GM in 2014, Treliving has made over 40 trades.
In preparation for the upcoming trade deadline, we reviewed and graded every single trade he’s made.
Note: Trade grades are based upon the club’s needs, goals, and how the trade met those needs and goals. If a player the Flames took with a draft pick turns out to be amazing, we only care about the logic behind getting the particular pick and the price paid.
June 28, 2014
To FlamesTo Blackhawks
Brandon Bollig2014 3rd round pick (PIT #83 – Matheson Iacopelli)
The rebuilding Flames needed NHL bodies to fill out their roster for a few seasons while their farm system percolated. Chicago was looking to clear out cap space and so Calgary got a slightly above replacement level NHL depth player with a Stanley Cup ring for the pick they had from trading Lee Stempniak at the trade deadline.
Grade: C+
January 9, 2015
To FlamesTo Panthers
Drew ShoreCorban Knight
Treliving’s predecessor Jay Feaster acquired Knight and coveted him, but he didn’t pan out in Calgary’s system. So Treliving traded him to Florida for a very similar depth player. This was a purely lateral trade, one of several Treliving has made as GM.
Grade: C
March 1, 2015
To FlamesTo Capitals
2015 2nd round pick (WSH #52)
2015 3rd round pick (WSH #83)
Curtis Glencross
The Flames were playoff-bound… probably, but weren’t guaranteed a spot yet. Glencross was a pending UFA who played a physical style that the more assured playoff clubs coveted. So Treliving sold off a depth player for a couple of picks that allowed him to make further trades.
Grade: B+
March 2, 2015
To FlamesTo Canucks
2015 2nd round pick (VAN #53 – Rasmus Andersson)Sven Baertschi
This is a higher-level version of the Knight-for-Shore trade from January. Baertschi just wasn’t working out in Calgary (and requested a trade) and he got a fresh start in Vancouver, while the Flames got a fairly high draft choice.
Grade: B
June 26, 2015
To FlamesTo Bruins
Dougie Hamilton2015 1st round pick (CGY #15 – Zach Senyshyn)
2015 2nd round pick (CGY #45 – Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson)
2015 2nd round pick (WSH #52 – Jeremy Lauzon)
The Flames used their first two picks from the 2015 draft, plus one of the picks they got for Glencross, to land a high-end, puck-moving blueliner with several controllable years left. Hamilton may not have been the best fit in Calgary relative to his defensive play, but man, the guy was (and is) a high-end offensive blueliner.
Grade: A
June 27, 2015
To FlamesTo Coyotes
2015 2nd round pick (TBL #60 – Oliver Kylington)2015 3rd round pick (CGY #76 – Adin Hill)
2015 3rd round pick (WSH #83 – Jens Looke)
The Flames highly coveted Kylington and saw him sliding down the draft board. They packaged their 3rd rounder (and the other pick from the Glencross trade) to trade up to select him. Even if the player didn’t pan out, this is pretty tidy work.
Grade: B+
July 1, 2015
To FlamesTo Predators
2016 4th round pick [conditional, not exercised]Max Reinhart
Reinhart was a depth AHLer who wasn’t going to pan out in Calgary’s system. So the Flames sent him to Nashville to see if he would pan out there. (The conditional pick was tied to Reinhart playing 18 NHL games in the 2015-16 season, which didn’t happen.)
Grade: C
October 4, 2015
To FlamesTo Avalanche
Freddie Hamilton2016 7th round pick [conditional, not exercised]
In June, the Flames landed Freddie’s brother. The elder Hamilton was the Max Reinhart of Colorado’s farm system, so the Flames snagged him for their system. (The conditional pick was tied to Freddie playing 18 NHL games in the 2015-16 season, which didn’t happen.)
Grade: C
November 12, 2015
To FlamesTo Lightning
Kevin PoulinFuture considerations
The Flames had a spot for a goalie in their farm system. The Lightning had no spots for goalies in their farm system. So the Flames got a depth asset for free that would otherwise be sitting idle in Tampa’s system.
Grade: C+
February 22, 2016
To FlamesTo Canucks
Hunter ShinkarukMarkus Granlund
This is another Knight-for-Shore swap. Granlund was hitting his ceiling in the Flames system and Shinkaruk was doing the same in Vancouver. The swap made sense, but Granlund did far better with the Canucks than Shinkaruk did with the Flames.
Grade: C
February 27, 2016
To FlamesTo Panthers
2016 2nd round pick (FLA #54 – Tyler Parsons)
2018 4th round pick (FLA #108 – Demetrios Koumontzis)
Jiri Hudler
The Flames were out of playoff contention and Hudler was a pending UFA. So the Flames cashed out on the asset and got a couple picks.
Grade: B
February 29, 2016
To FlamesTo Stars
Jyrki Jokipakka
Brett Pollock
2016 2nd round pick (DAL #56 – Dillon Dube) [conditional]
Kris Russell
The Flames were out of playoff contention and Russell was a pending UFA. So the Flames cashed out on the asset and got a couple players and a good pick. Jokipakka was a depth blueliner and Pollock was minor league depth, but free assets are still assets. (The condition on the pick was it would become a 1st-rounder if Dallas made the Western Conference final, but the Stars lost to St. Louis in seven games.)
Grade: B+
February 29, 2016
To FlamesTo Wild
Niklas Backstrom
2016 7th round pick (MIN #166 – Matthew Phillips)
David Jones
The Flames were out of playoff contention and Jones was a pending UFA. To get the free 6th-round pick, the Flames agreed to take Backstrom (who was the Wild’s third goalie at that point). Backstrom was reportedly at the mall at the time the trade was submitted, and had to rush home to fax in a waiver of his no-move clause in order for the trade to go through.
Grade: C+
June 24, 2016
To FlamesTo Blues
Brian Elliott2016 2nd round pick (CGY #35 – Jordan Kyrou)
2018 3rd round pick [conditional, not exercised]
Elliott had a year left on his existing contract at a reasonable $2.5 million cap hit and the Flames got him for a 2nd-rounder. (The conditional pick was tied to Elliott re-signing after the 2016-17 season, which didn’t happen.)
Grade: B
February 20, 2017
To FlamesTo Coyotes
Michael Stone [50% retained]2017 3rd round pick (CGY #78)
2018 5th round pick (CGY #136) [conditional]
The Flames were looking for additional blueliners heading into the playoffs, so they added Stone for some depth. (The condition on the pick was tied to Stone re-signing, which happened.)
Grade: C+
March 1, 2017
To FlamesTo Senators
Curtis Lazar
Michael Kostka
Jyrki Jokipakka
2017 2nd round pick (CGY #47 – Alex Formenton)
The Flames coveted Lazar, and landed him and an AHL defender for Jokipakka (useful NHL depth) and a 2nd-rounder. Can’t help but feel like this was a bit of an overpay.
(Update: Based on a few text conversations regarding this trade, I’ve downgraded it based on what other 2nd-rounders netted teams that summer.)
Grade: D+
June 17, 2017
To FlamesTo Coyotes
Mike Smith [25% retained]Chad Johnson
Brandon Hickey
2018 3rd round pick (CGY #74) [conditional]
The Flames needed a goalie heading into the Vegas expansion draft, so they swapped a pending UFA (Johnson), a college prospect they weren’t going to be able to sign (Hickey) and a 3rd-rounder for Smith with salary retained. For what they got and what they gave up, this was good value. (The condition on the pick was tied to the Flames making the playoffs in 2017-18, which didn’t happen; if they had, the pick would’ve become a 2019 2nd-rounder.)
Grade: B+
June 24, 2017
To FlamesTo Islanders
Travis Hamonic
2019 4th round pick (NYI #116 – Lucas Feuk) [conditional]
2018 1st round pick (CGY #12 – Noah Dobson)
2018 2nd round pick (CGY #43 – Ruslan Iskhakov)
2019 2nd round pick (CGY #57 – Samuel Bolduc) [conditional]
This was essentially the Dougie Hamilton trade all over again, albeit with a player with (a) less offensive upside and (b) an existing contract. For what Hamonic was, it was an overpay, but the Flames coveted the attributes he had – big, physical style, reliable in his own end – and were willing to pay a premium for it.
(The conditions on the trade’s picks were kind of wacky, and related to the conditions in the Smith trade. If the Flames made the 2018 playoffs, their 2019 2nd-rounder was Arizona’s and so they would swap their 2020 2nd-rounder with the Islanders’ 4th. But if they missed the 2018 playoffs, their 2019 2nd-rounder would swap with the Islanders’ 4th instead.)
Grade: C+
June 29, 2017
To FlamesTo Hurricanes
Eddie Lack [50% retained]
Ryan Murphy
2019 7th round pick (CAR #214 – Dustin Wolf)
Keegan Kanzig
2019 6th round pick (CGY #181 – Kevin Wall)
The Flames wanted an inexpensive backup and the Hurricanes were willing to retain half of Lack’s salary if the Flames would take on Murphy. The day after the swap, the Flames bought Murphy out. Nobody from this trade really panned out for either team (but the Flames got a late pick).
Grade: C-
July 1, 2017
To FlamesTo Red Wings
2018 7th round pick [conditional, not exercised]Tom McCollum
The Flames signed McCollum prior to the expansion draft so they could meet the exposure requirements. With the expansion draft over with, they had no need for him and so he went into Detroit’s farm system. (The condition on the pick was related to McCollum playing 15 NHL games in 2017-18, which didn’t happen.)
Grade: C
February 26, 2018
To FlamesTo Senators
Nick Shore2019 7th round pick (CGY #212)
Having failed to find a reliable fourth line centre internally, the Flames traded a late pick to Ottawa to try out Shore prior to him becoming a free agent. He didn’t pan out.
Grade: C
June 23, 2018
To FlamesTo Hurricanes
Elias Lindholm
Noah Hanifin
Dougie Hamilton
Micheal Ferland
Adam Fox
Lots of moving pieces here! Ferland was a year away from becoming a UFA the Flames wouldn’t be able to afford. Fox had begun to make noise about wanting to play closer to home rather than in Calgary. Hamilton was a great offensive fit with the club, but didn’t quite fit their defensive style. So the Flames made a strategic punt, swapping out Hamilton and Ferland for younger assets with more controllable years. (Fox’s inclusion is a bit of a tough pill to swallow, but both sides got what they wanted from this swap.)
Grade: A-
June 23, 2018
To FlamesTo Canadiens
2018 4th round pick (WPG #122 – Milos Roman)2019 4th round pick (CGY #119)
The Flames had Milos Roman high on their draft list and swapped a 2018 4th-rounder for a 2019 4th-rounder to get him. He didn’t pan out, but it didn’t really cost them anything.
Grade: C
August 20, 2018
To FlamesTo Canadiens
Kerby RychelHunter Shinkaruk
Another incarnation of Knight-for-Shore. Shinkaruk wasn’t panning out with the Flames, Rychel wasn’t panning out with the Habs, so they gave both a fresh start.
Grade: C
October 1, 2018
To FlamesTo Canadiens
Rinat Valiev
Matt Taormina
Brett Kulak
The relationship between the Flames and Kulak soured a bit, as the club took a hard line during salary arbitration. Plus, Juuso Valimaki was going pro and expected to push for an NHL gig. So the Flames sent out Kulak, a reliable depth NHLer, in exchange for two AHL depth defenders.
Grade: D+
November 27, 2018
To FlamesTo Maple Leafs
Andrew NielsenMorgan Klimchuk
Another Knight-for-Shore variation. Klimchuk had hit his ceiling with the Flames, as Nielsen had with the Maple Leafs. So they both got fresh starts.
Grade: C
February 25, 2019
To FlamesTo Kings
Oscar Fantenberg2020 4th round pick (CGY #111 – Juho Markkanen) [conditional]
The Flames were heading towards the playoffs and wanted some defensive depth, as they weren’t completely sold on Oliver Kylington and it was unclear how ready Juuso Valimaki would be for the playoffs coming off a high ankle sprain. So they grabbed Fantenberg as a rental. (The 4th-rounder would’ve become a 2020 3rd-rounder if the Flames had made the conference final and Fantenberg played in at least 50% of their games, which didn’t happen.)
Grade: C+
July 19, 2019
To FlamesTo Oilers
Milan Lucic [12.5% retained]
2021 3rd round pick (EDM #83) [conditional]
James Neal
Some context: Neal was lured to Calgary to a top six winger (and probably play with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau), but Lindholm was tried out there in training camp in 2018 due to Monahan recovering from wrist surgery and he just clicked. So Neal spent time languishing on the third line instead. Lucic was similarly miscast in Edmonton, so the two teams swapped veterans, with Edmonton getting an easier player to possibly buy out and the Flames getting more physical presence. (The conditional pick was originally tied to Neal scoring 21 goals in 2019-20, which didn’t happen, but after the pandemic shortened that season the league ruled that the Flames were owed a pick based on the spirit of the condition and the prevailing circumstances.)
Grade: B-
January 2, 2020
To FlamesTo Sabres
2020 4th round pick (SJS #95 – Daniil Chechelev)Michael Frolik
Frolik was a great free agent signing, but had fallen down the rotation with the emergence of Andrew Mangiapane. Rather than have him languish on the fourth line, they sent him to Buffalo for a mid-round pick.
Grade: C+
February 24, 2020
To FlamesTo Kings
Derek Forbort2021 4th round pick (CGY #108) [conditional]
Another “Flames need blueline depth for the playoffs” trade, with the club still not sold on Kylington yet. (The 4th-rounder would’ve become a 2022 3rd-rounder if the Flames had made the conference final and Forbort played in at least 50% of their games, which didn’t happen, literally the same condition as the Fantenberg trade from the year prior.)
Grade: C+
February 24, 2020
To FlamesTo Blackhawks
Erik Gustafsson2020 3rd round pick (CGY #80 – Wyatt Kaiser) [conditional]
Yet another “Flames need blueline depth for the playoffs” trade. (The condition on the pick was dependent on if the Flames were receiving Edmonton’s 3rd-rounder from the Lucic trade; Chicago was promised the earlier of the two 3rd-round picks that Calgary could have the rights to by draft weekend.)
Grade: C+
February 24, 2020
To FlamesTo Sharks
Future considerationsBrandon Davidson
This one’s a bit complex. The Flames weren’t sure if they would be able to execute either of the Forbort or Gustafsson trades prior to the trade deadline. So Davidson, called up as an injury replacement, was kept around past the AHL’s noon ET roster deadline. But because he was around past that deadline he wasn’t allowed to return to the AHL for the rest of the season, so the Flames sent him to San Jose so he would have somewhere to play.
Grade: C-
October 6, 2020
To FlamesTo Rangers
2020 1st round pick (CAR #22)
2020 3rd round pick (NYR #71 – Jeremie Poirier)
2020 1st round pick (CGY #19 – Braden Schneider)
The Flames traded down three spots in the first round and added a 3rd-rounder.
Grade: C+
October 6, 2020
To FlamesTo Capitals
2020 1st round pick (WSH #24 – Connor Zary)
2020 3rd round pick (ARI #79 – Jake Boltmann)
2020 1st round pick (CAR #22)
The Flaems traded down two more spots in the first round and added another 3rd-rounder.
Grade: C+
April 11, 2021
To FlamesTo Maple Leafs
2022 3rd round pick (TOR)David Rittich [50% retained]
The Flames weren’t going to make the playoffs and Rittich was a pending UFA, so they cashed out on an expiring asset and got a 3rd-rounder back.
Grade: C+
April 12, 2021
To FlamesTo
Emil Heineman
2022 2nd round pick (FLA)
Sam Bennett
2022 6th round pick (CGY)
Bennett was coveted by a few teams and wasn’t going to get much of a chance playing higher up in Calgary’s line-up given their wing depth, so he was sent to Florida for a 2nd-rounder and a prospect.
Grade: B-
July 22, 2021
To FlamesTo Kraken
Tyler Pitlick2022 4th round pick (CGY)
Pitlick was thought of as a decent but unspectacular two-way forward and the Flames were looking for some NHL-ready depth.
Grade: C-
July 24, 2021
To FlamesTo Kings
2021 3rd round pick (TOR #88 – Cameron Whynot)
2021 6th round pick (LA #167 – Jack Beck)
2021 3rd round pick (EDM #83 – Kirill Kirsanov)
The Flames traded down five picks and got a 6th-round pick out of it.
Grade: C+
July 28, 2021
To FlamesTo Bruins
Dan Vladar2022 3rd round pick (CGY)
The Flames needed a backup goalie with Rittich gone in free agency, so they acquired one with some NHL experience and a league-minimum cap hit for a 3rd-rounder.
Grade: B-
July 28, 2021
To FlamesTo Blackhawks
Nikita Zadorov2022 3rd round pick (TOR)
The Flames added a fairly experienced shutdown RFA defender for a 3rd-rounder. (His qualifying offer was a bit hefty, which knocks this grade down a tiny bit.)
Grade: C+
February 14, 2022
To FlamesTo Canadiens
Tyler ToffoliTyler Pitlick
Emil Heineman
2022 1st round pick (CGY) [conditional]
2023 5th round pick (CGY)
The Flames added an offensive-minded forward with two years remaining on his contract for two picks, an unsigned prospect and a player who wasn’t playing.
Grade: Incomplete (but trending well)

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