The Calgary Flames ‘work around the edges’ at the trade deadline

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
The 2023 edition of the National Hockey League trade deadline came and went without much fanfare for the Calgary Flames. After four consecutive losses in the week preceding the deadline, the Flames didn’t seem to have an appetite to spend assets to load up. And with the team still within shouting distance of the playoffs, they didn’t seem to have an appetite to blow things up, either.
And so, Flames general manager Brad Treliving ended up “work[ing] around the edges.” He met with the assembled media an hour after the deadline passed to break down his moves and their implications.

On the approach to the deadline

“I do believe that we’ve got a good team. We’ve got a good team that’s under-performed here,f or various reasons. And so for us, we felt it was most prudent right now to work around the edges. I think in certain areas we’ve improved out team. We’ve got 20 games here. We know that the hill is steep. But we’ve made our bed, and now we’ve got to deal with it. I believe in this group, no question, but the reality of it is we sit where we sit after 62 games, and we know the challenge in front of us.”

Flames trade Brett Ritchie and Connor Mackey to Arizona for Nick Ritchie and Troy Stecher

On Mackey: “For Connor, i think this is an opportunity for him to go and play a little bit. He’s been the odd man out here, and so it’s going to be a good opportunity for him.”
On (Brett) Ritchie: “And with Brett, a lot of the thinking behind it there is with the progression of Walker Duehr – we see Walker as a guy who’s pushing to be an everyday guy now – this sort of opens up a spot for him on the right side and gives Brett an opportunity.”
On Stecher: “We’re getting a player back who’s got a lot of experience. Has played in the playoffs as recently as last year. A right shot guy. He brings some mobility, which i thought with Oliver [Kylington] not being here we’ve lacked a little bit.”
On (Nick) Ritchie: “And then with Nick, Nick’s a big body. Nick’s moved around a little bit here. Former 10th overall pick. He’s a big body, he’s got some skill. His play, there’s been some inconsistency to it. Down the stretch is an opportunity for him to show what he can do, and help us as we push along here the last 20 games.”
On the first-ever trade of brother for brother: “First time for everything. So, it’s a little unique. I had a chuckle with both of them while we were talking.”

Flames trade Radim Zohorna to Toronto for Dryden Hunt, assign Hunt to the Wranglers

On Zohorna: “Been a good player down there for the Wranglers, been a part of the season they’ve had so far.”
On Hunt: “Competitive guy. Will start with the Wranglers. Gives us some versatility on both wings. And he’ll certainly start with the Wranglers and we’ll see where we go from there.”

Flames assign Walker Duehr and Jakob Pelletier to Wranglers (and then recall them)

“We’re not supposed to say ‘paper transactions’ but I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that they’ll be back up.”
(Speaking with Pat Steinberg on Flames Talk subsequently, Treliving noted again that the players will be called back up.)

Oliver Kylington not expected back this season (and is eligible for a long-term injury reserve placement)

“It’s fair to say that we’re March 3rd and Oliver’s not here, that I think it’d be a stretch to see him the rest of the year. We continue to monitor it and work with Oliver, but I don’t foresee him returning this year.”
(In a answer later on, Treliving confirmed Frank Seravalli’s report that Kylington would be eligible to be placed on the long-term injury reserve should the Flames require the cap space.)

On the potential for more recalls (and Matt Coronato)

In discussing Kylington’s LTIR cap space, Treliving mentioned using that space potentially “for injury recalls or for other purposes, if any other players join our team by the end of the year.”
Answering a question about the potential adding more players, Treliving referenced the possibility for future injury recalls from the AHL, and also mentioned Matt Coronato. “We’ve talked about Matt Coronato. We’re going to let him worry about his playoffs and Harvard and then get to work with speaking with him at the end of the year.”

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