Yesterday we looked at the moves that Brad Treliving made in the first year of his tenure, lets take a look at what he's done from July 1, 2015 to present day.
***NOTE: This series will not include reviewing BT's NHL Entry Drafts; draft reviews will appear on the site in the weeks to come.
July 1, 2015: Resign Karri Ramo to a 1 year, $3.8 million deal.
Thoughts: In a vacuum, this signing was not a bad signing. Ramo's game inspired more confidence than Hiller's had, and the idea of a Ramo-Ortio tandem sounded promising. A one-year contract allows for plenty of flexibility in the future too. Unfortunately, after signing Ramo, Treliving was unable to move Hiller. After all 3 goalies put up stellar preseason stats, the 3-headed goalie monster was a complete disaster once the regular season began. Ramo was waived after a few games, brought back after playing one game in the AHL when Hiller got hurt, and was then the Flames starter until a season ending injury in February against the Sharks. Ramo actually rebounded very well from the tough start to the season and was the Flames best goalie (not a huge accomplishment, unfortunately), but having him with Hiller and Ortio did not work at all, making this signing problematic.
July 1, 2015: Sign Michael Frolik for 5 Years, $21.5 million.
Thoughts: This was a great signing. Michael Frolik is a player that can play in literally any situation, but is best served as a middle six forward who is defensively responsible while contributing offense. He was one of the best forwards on the free agent market last year and he was signed for a relatively affordable deal considering how free agency usually plays out. Treliving addressed weakness on the right side, along with the fact that Frolik has always been a possession driving forward. Frolik and Backlund form a terrific partnership, the sort of players that help teams win championships. He racked up 32 points in 64 games and probably should have had more ice time than he did. Only 28 years old, he will be a valuable player for the duration of his contract.
July 23, 2015: Resign Lance Bouma for 3 years, $6.6 million.
Thoughts: This is a tough signing to evaluate. Bouma was coming off a career best season by far, with 16 goals and 18 assists, but he had an absurd shooting percentage and was playing alongside Mikael Backlund who is known for making players much better. It was obvious Bouma would not repeat that season, but nobody thought he would come back with just 2 goals in 44 games. He's a heart and soul guy, definitely a leader but his possession stats are poor and his offense did not exist this year. His contract is not outrageous, but there are players in the Flames system that could do the same job as him for far less money. Treliving signed Bouma to this deal following the salary arbitration hearing but prior to the ruling being handed out. Not a great deal considering the Flames are going to be tight to the cap this upcoming season, but hopefully Bouma can rebound and be more productive with better health.
August 25, 2015: Extend Mark Giordano to a 6 year, $40.5 million dollar contract.
Thoughts: All things considered, this was a pretty good deal that had to get done. Giordano is the captain, the leader in all aspects of the Flames and also an elite defenseman. Considering some of the reports that were coming out in the media of Giordano wanting an 8 year deal at $9 million per, the term and money came in much less than that. Giordano will be 33 year when his contract kicks in, so its inevitable there will be a drop off by the end of the deal, but this should provide good value for the three or four years. Even down the road, the cap will continue to rise and the Flames will get rid of some of their bad contracts in the next season or two, so when Giordano begins to decline it should not hurt the team too badly. He is one of the top defenseman in the league right now, just had a career best season and has terrific conditioning, so even when age causes his play to decline he should be able to contribute further down the depth chart. They will not always need him to be a top pairing defender, but he will always have something to offer this team.
October 6, 2015: Waive Goodbye to Paul Byron
Thoughts: Paul Byron was not a game changer by any means, but he was the exact sort of forward you want in your bottom six. Responsible defensively, fast, and pushes the play to the other end of the ice. That's why it was so unfortunate that Byron got waived for the likes of Brandon Bollig and a third goalie to stay up with the big club. Byron wouldn't have made the difference about making the playoffs or not, but he really would have been of help to the penalty kill and provided more offense than some of the other lineup regulars. Losing him for nothing was even worse.
February 22, 2016: Trade Markus Granlund to the Vancouver Canucks for Hunter Shinkaruk
Thoughts: This was a pretty shocking trade to see when it was announced. Granlund, who was proving to be nothing more than a spare part, traded for a player who was drafted in the 1st round in 2013, only 21 years old and currently an AHL all star? Seemed quite surreal at the time, another confounding move by the Vancouver Canucks, but good on Brad Treliving for being all over this move. Granlund had essentially proved he had no future in Calgary, and will likely not amount to more than a depth forward in the NHL. Shinkaruk is the younger player of the two, just two seasons into his pro career, with the potential to be a top six forward one day. Who knows how it all shakes out in the end, but so far this looks like it has the potential to be a steal from a division rival. Granlund had 2 goals and 1 assist in 16 games for the Canucks, while in Shinkaruk's first tour of NHL action, he put up the same numbers as Granlund in just 7 games.
February 27, 2016: Trade Jiri Hudler to the Florida Panthers for the Panthers' Second Round Pick in 2016 and Fourth Round Pick in 2018
Thoughts: This seemed like a disappointing haul at the time, considering that Hudler had just come off a 76-point season. But he was not the same player at all this year and GMs were not going as crazy as they had in the past at the trade deadline. Considering that Hudler was not going to be resigned, was on a down season and the Flames did not need him down the stretch, two picks is a decent haul. Hudler ended up with only 1 point (an assist) in 6 playoff games for the Panthers.
February 29, 2016: Trade Kris Russell to the Dallas Stars for Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock and a Second Round Pick in 2016.
Thoughts: Kris Russell needed to go. He was consistently playing in his own end, was not helping the penalty kill and was being given too much ice time by Bob Hartley. He was a heart and soul player, but with rumours that he could seek over $5 million on a long-term deal, it was very good to hear when he got traded to Dallas. The exciting part about this trade at the time was that the 2nd Round Pick would become a 1st Round if the Stars made it to the Conference Finals. Unfortunately, this did not happen but a 2nd round pick, a good depth defenseman in Jyrki Jokipakka and a good prospect in Brett Pollock. It was a good collection of assets for a defenseman that was ultimately doing more harm than good for the Flames. Even better, this move blocked the Canucks from being able to trade Dan Hamhuis.
Febraury 29, 2016: Trade David Jones to the Minnesota Wild for Niklas Backstrom and a Sixth Round Pick in 2016
Thoughts: Jones was not going to be resigned and Backstrom provided us with an interesting storyline for a few games at the end of the season. Getting an extra draft pick has never hurt.
March 30, 2016: Sign Mark Jankowski to an NHL Entry Level Deal
Thoughts: This was notable entry level signing due to the fact that Jankowski could have held out until August on signing his contract and then had the freedom to sign with any team he wanted. It was thought that in order for the Flames to prevent this from happening, they would need to give Jankowski at least one NHL game, burning the first year off his contract. What ultimately happened was that Treliving got Jankowski to agree to the contract starting next year, allowing Jankowski to sign an amature try out contract with Stockton to get some AHL experience. Jankowski has always been a development project, he will need time in the minors, so it was a good move by Treliving to get him down there right away and not have him step into the NHL and burn a year off of his entry deal. Yes, the Flames could have gotten the 51st overall pick next year as compensation if Jankowski did not sign, but Jankowski likely has higher upside and is closer to the NHL than a late second round pick. Good move by Treliving to keep an asset and have Jankowski agree to what is best for his development.
April 29, 2016: Sign Daniel Pribyl to an NHL Entry Level Deal
Thoughts: Daniel Pribyl is six-foot-three, 220 pound, 23 year old, right shooting forward. He just came off of a season in which he finished second in league scoring in the Czech League, scoring 45 points in 45 games. Adding a prospect like Pribyl without giving anything up is a low risk, high reward move. Worst-case scenario, Pribyl turns out to contribute nothing and in two years is back in Europe. Best-case scenario, Flames have a big top 6 right-winger that cost them nothing to acquire. Remains to be seen how it all pans out, but this was a proactive move that could prove to be a valuable addition.
May 3, 2016: Fire Head Coach Bob Hartley
Thoughts: It seemed inevitable that sooner or later, Bob Hartley would be shown out the door. He had his moments as a coach, but was not going to lead this team to a championship. He won the Jack Adam award the year before as coach of the year, but everything went right that year for the Flames. He did instill a good work ethic in the team and helped bring along the emergence of players like Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and TJ Brodie, but he also failed to properly utilize other players in his tenure, such as Dougie Hamilton, Mikael Backlund at various times, and many young players not named Sean or John. His possession numbers as a coach were poor, the team relied too much on the stretch pass and blocking shots and ultimately his message seemed to have worn thin on the team. It remains to be seen who his replacement will be, but it was time for a change and good on Treliving for not dragging this into next season.
Conclusion: There is a lot to like about what Brad Treliving has done in his tenure as Flames GM. He has made some strong trades (acquisition of Hamilton and Shinkaruk, trading Kris Russell) and some great signings so far (Brodie, Frolik, Backlund). Not every move has been a success (Raymond, Bollig, the goalie situation), but that's the nature of the business and he is just 2 years into his first NHL GM job. There's a lot to like about his body of work and it seems as though we have someone at the helm of the team who should inspire confidence in how the organization is run. With his biggest summer yet ahead of him, it will be interesting to see how he fares in his next big moves. What grade would you give Brad Treliving?