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Curtis Glencross trade will be a big test for first-year general manager Brad Treliving

Curtis Glencross' days as a Flame appear to be coming to an end.

Will it increase Glencross' trade value if other GMs can see just how badass he looks?
Will it increase Glencross' trade value if other GMs can see just how badass he looks?
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Glencross may not be what you would think of as a big name, but he's the biggest name the Calgary Flames have got this trade deadline. As it stands right now, all signs point towards the longtime Flame finding a new home before March 2.

Glencross, 32, is beginning the downside of his career. When it once looked like the left winger would hit the 30 goal mark, that seems to be all but a pipe dream now. And as an upcoming free agent, Glencross is certainly looking to cash in.

That's why the Flames need to deal him. With guys like Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan, and Johnny Gaudreau soon to command big salaries, Calgary can't afford to waste cap space on a winger whose performance has been steadily declining, especially with prospects in the minors on the cusp of making the NHL full time. (Sven Baertschi, for example. Adirondack's highest-scoring left winger will be an RFA after this season... not to mention waiver eligible.)

While Glencross has not demanded a trade, he's not happy, and it's easy to see why. His ice time has gone down, and he's only been playing third line minutes since his return from injury. That's not something most players are typically pleased with, but it carries extra weight for Glencross, who gave up a big payday when he re-signed with the Flames four years ago. He had just scored a then-career high 24 goals, and took a $2.5 million hometown discount to stay in Calgary.

That discount is why he now has control over his fate, as a no-trade clause game with that relatively cheap contract.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="">#Flames</a> LW Curtis Glencross confirmed he&#39;s been asked to provide list of teams he would accept a trade to. Declined to say how many listed.</p>&mdash; Wes Gilbertson (@SUNGilbertson) <a href="">February 19, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Here, we see Treliving's intentions. There have been no talks to extend him. Instead, everything seems to be focused on dealing the Flames' biggest trade chip.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Glencross holds a no trade clause. Hearing up to 15 teams have inquired about him. His list is significantly less <a href="">#Flames</a></p>&mdash; Roger Millions (@RogMillions) <a href="">February 19, 2015</a></blockquote>

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We don't really need to know which teams Glencross would accept a trade to. All we, and potential suitors, need to know is that a number of teams - including the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, and maybe the Tampa Bay Lightningaccording to Elliotte Friedman - want him, and so, teams should be prepared to up the ante.

Which would be good for Calgary, of course.

Why go after Glencross? Because as mentioned, he's a potential high-scoring depth winger signed to a cheap deal. If you're a contender close to the cap but you want to shore up your depth, Glencross is as fine an option as any. His reduced scoring - just eight goals so far this season - corresponds with his lowest shooting percentage since he first came to Calgary. A new system and new linemates could certainly turn things around for a guy as proud as Glencross.

So then, why wouldn't the Flames keep Glencross? After all, they're in the midst of the playoff race, too. But they're still a rebuilding team, and the long-term future is far more important than the short. Glencross doesn't have a long-term spot on the Flames anymore, but a return for him might.

Brian Burke got nothing for Mike Cammalleri. Brad Treliving needs to do his best to not make the same mistake. And with a rather large market apparently present, he needs to cash in on his biggest asset: whether he yields a high pick, promising prospect, or a young, established NHLer (preferably of the top four defenceman variety).

Besides, the Flames already have a replacement for Glencross' spot. Baertschi's entry level deal is set to expire after this season. He's going to require waivers, so the Flames will either have to trade him, or keep him in the lineup starting next season. Twenty-something games of Baertschi in the NHL this season, though, with actual ice time and real linemates, could go a long way towards helping them figure out what to do with him.

Not to mention the fact that Baertschi very well may help them make the playoffs, too.

Treliving has only made two trades in his short tenure as general manager so far: a third rounder for Brandon Bollig (bad), and Corban Knight for Drew Shore (good). Those are pretty minor compared to what a Glencross deal could be, though. Just what Treliving does with his biggest asset at his first NHL trade deadline as general manager will be a huge test for him. Hopefully, he'll pass it with flying colours.