It was emotional, quite frankly. I've got a lot of respect for him and I think he knows how we feel about him and likewise for him to us. - Brad Treliving on Brian McGrattan
VANCOUVER, BC -- The decision to assign veteran winger Brian McGrattan to the Adirondack Flames was one of the hardest choices Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving has had to make during his tenure with the club.
"We really didn't talk a lot about it yesterday -- we wanted to go through the process -- but really the primary piece of this is getting Brian playing again," Treliving said. "He's been out for a long time. We wanted to get him back out on the ice playing some games.
"I talked to him yesterday and that was a difficult discussion because of the respect we have for Brian. This is an excellent man, a big part of the DNA in our group. Him going down there right now -- as I told him this morning -- this isn't the end and we'll never see from him again. He's going to go down there, he had an excellent attitude and we'll see where it goes."
Treliving and the Flames management put a lot of thought into the decision, trying to figure what the best possible solution for all parties was.
McGrattan, who has 317 NHL games on his resume, has not suited up for a game Dec. 6 and has been limited to just eight games with the Flames this season. Knowing he would see more game action with Adirondack and would be able to provide a steady veteran presence to the Flames' AHL affilaite, Treliving felt it was the best choice.
"Like a lot of things, it's the apprehension leading up to the decision. When you sit out night-after-night it's sort of what could happen? We had a long talk -- yesterday when he was put [on waivers] -- and it was emotional, quite frankly. I've got a lot of respect for him and I think he knows how we feel about him and likewise for him to us.
"At the end of the day it's a hard decision for us to say, 'Brian, you've got to get playing'. He realized it. You can't sit out for 20 games or whatever it's been and expect to get out there. It didn't come as a shock. He's going to go down there with a great attitude, he's going to support the younger players down there. The other part is he's got to get back playing and back up to speed."
Adirondack is in action today but McGrattan's debut may not come for a little while.
"Now that he's going to the States there is some immigration paperwork [that needs to get done]," Treliving explained. "It may take him a couple of days before he is actually physically moving. From a roster perspective, we'll be doing that today."