The Calgary Flames, under the leadership of Brad Treliving, have just completed their fourth season, and are wrapping up their fifth offseason. The first time General Manager has been relatively quiet at the trade deadline, as well as signing players to extensions during the season. However as soon as the Stanley Cup is awarded, Treliving seems to turn into a different man. 4 straight drafts have seen him make blockbuster deals.
The good, bad, and unknown moves of his five summers here in Calgary will be looked at. Judging Treliving’s moves will be limited to those done during the offseason (defined as the moment the Flames season ends, to when training camp starts). For example, the Backlund extension and the Jagr signing are not considered.
2014 - Grade: D
- Deryk Engelland - Free Agent Signing
Provided grit, leadership, and stability on a young Flames team for all 3 years of his tenure
- Joe Colborne - RFA Re-signing
Became a 40 point scorer with a cap hit of only $1.25 million dollar contract in 2015-16. Let him walk in summer 2016.
- Mason Raymond, Devin Setoguchi, Jonas Hiller - Free Agent Signings
While Hiller did help lead the Flames back to the playoffs in 2015, his 2015-16 stats overshadows that too severely. Raymond and Setoguchi were non-factors, with the former being bought out.
- Mason McDonald, Hunter Smith - 2nd Round Draft Picks
Thatcher Demko (VAN) and Alex Nedeljkovic (CAR) were the next two picks after McDonald. Both are their organizations top goaltending prospects. Brandon Montour (ANA) and Ryan Donato (BOS) were the two picks after Smith. Treliving picked McDonald despite Demko being the number one rated goaltender in North America.
- Sam Bennett- 4th Overall
While some of the players selected after Bennett have been much more successful, Bennett still has a very short window to make something out of his career. Bennett was the highest rated North American skater in 2014, so it’s hard to blame Treliving for this one, as he looked like a steal at number four.
2015 - Grade: B
- Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington - 2nd Round Draft Picks
Instantly made up for a lack of the 2015 first round pick. Treliving added two top defensive prospects. Traded up to select Kylington.
- Andrew Mangiapane - 6th Round Draft Pick
Took a chance on a player who’d already gone undrafted the year before, and failed to make an impression in the Arizona Coyotes rookie camp. Point per game AHL player, likely future every day NHLer.
- Lance Bouma - Re-signing
Classic overpay with too much term for one year of success. 16 goals, 18 assists in 2014-15, 5 goals, 9 assists over next 100 games, at $2.20 million per season. Bought out in summer 2017.
- Mark Giordano - Extension
A cap hit of under 6.75 million was a steal for a D man at the end of a Norris caliber season. However, he will be 37 by the time it expires. A pro of this deal is that it set an internal cap on the team for players like Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.
- Dougie Hamilton - Trade
Will be covered more later, but the number 15 pick could have been used on any of Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, or Jake DeBrusk.
2016 - Grade: A-
- Chad Johnson, David Rittich - Free Agent Signing
Saved the Flames season when Elliott struggled. Consistent backup all year. Added a future backup and further goaltending depth in Rittich.
- Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan - RFA Re-signing
Treliving’s speciality has been resigning his own players. Locked both superstars at cap hits below 7 million.
- Entire 2016 Draft
Drafted an elite left wing in the first round (Tkachuk), promising goaltending prospect (Parsons), NHL ready center prospect (Dube), underrated draft selection and future trade chip (Fox), and another 6th round steal (Phillips).
- Alex Chiasson - Trade
Thoroughly disliked his entire stay in Calgary. Somehow ended up worse for Ottawa, as Patrick Sieloff (sent from Flames) effectively ended Clarke MacArthur’s career with a head shot in a training camp scrimmage.
- Brian Elliott - Trade
Continued the Flames streak of inconsistent starters, basically single handedly lost a playoff series. St. Louis picked top prospect Jordan Kyrou with the 2nd round pick from Calgary.
- Troy Brouwer - Free Agent Signing
Nothing more to say. Bought out in summer 2018, 2 years into a 4 year, $18 million dollar deal.
- Bob Hartley - Firing, Glen Gulutzan - Hiring
Although there were rumors of feuds with players, Hartley was one year removed from winning a Jack Adams award. Glen Gulutzan was not an improvement.
2017 - Grade: C+
- Juuso Valimaki - 16th Overall
Drafted another elite D prospect. Seems like a can’t miss pick.
- Mike Smith - Trade
Finally got a legitimate number one goalie, and a mentor for the young goalies. Shut the Ducks out at the Honda Center, ending the Disneyland curse. Enough said.
- Micheal Ferland - Re-signing
Locked up a 20-goal, 40-point scorer at under 2 million.
- Travis Hamonic, Eddie Lack - Trade
Gave up a lot for a defencemen who had a down year, but there is still room for Hamonic to bounce back. If the Flames first round pick would have been a lottery winner, it could have put Trelivings’ job on the line. Made a risky trade for a goalie who was known to struggle, and traded him 6 months later. Lack should be happy he left before Bill Peters’ was hired.
- Travis Hamonic - Trade
2018 - Grade: B+
- Adding Offence - Free Agent Signings
Added James Neal, albeit at a hefty price and term. Austin Czarnik and Derek Ryan could turn into two of the most shrewd free agent signings of 2018.
- 2018 Draft
Not a slight on the players drafted, but it’s shameful to miss the playoffs and not pick until the fourth round.
- Hanifin/Lindholm - Trade
Unlikely to be a negative trade for either team, but a trade of this magnitude will be analyzed forever. Hurricanes know what they’re getting in a top pairing D man, and a gritty 20 goal scorer. Flames got the players with all the unknown potential or failures. Where/If Fox signs and what he turns into could be the deciding factor in who won this trade.
Re-signing his own players to cap friendly, lengthy extensions has always been Treliving’s strong suit, which is why the Tkachuk extension in the next 12 months should not concern Flames fans. He will get it done, and he will get it done at a good price.
After the horrendous 2014 draft, which is not always the fault of the GM, drafting has been a strength of his as well, filling the Flames prospect pipeline in ways past GM’s could not.
July 1st signings have been the biggest black mark on his record, but really how many teams don’t overpay during free agency? Not as many GM’s admit their mistakes by biting the bullet and buying the player out. See: Milan Lucic.
Overall, Treliving has never been shy to address problems he sees in throughout the organization. The confidence he has shown in his trades and firings should proves that he has the necessary traits to be a succesful NHL General Manager, and has slowly gained the trust of his fan base.
What has been Brad Treliving’s best offseason?
This poll is closed