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SAY WHAT: THE NEW RECRUITS

Flames GM Brad Treliving discusses the process of signing free-agent defencemen Connor Mackey and Colton Poolman out of college

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

 

TRELIVING ON RECRUITING MACKEY & POOLMAN:

"It's important to note the work of our staff. That's (assistant GM) Craig Conroy and (amateur scout) Billy Powers. Billy, he's an Ann Arbour, Mich., and his role is the college game. He and Craig were with Connor, spent a lot of time with him, as he does with all the college free agents. They did a really good job - it was an excellent team effort of communicating, staying on top of these guys and making sure they knew how much interest we had in them."

 

ON BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH COLLEGE PLAYERS:

"That's a big part of it. You can track Connor back three years. He comes to Development Camp (in 2017), he meets the staff, gets familiar with the organization. That's all part of it now. When you're selling a program, there's a lot to it. Players have lots of opportunities and both these players, especially, had lots of opportunities in lots of other spots. To me, it's being up front and honest with these players, telling them where you see them as players, what they do well, things they need to get better at, how they can get better in those areas, and what's their path to the NHL? The more touch points you can have with them, the better. There's a fine line with this because we don't want to overbear these kids and we don't want to smother them, but we want to make sure we're staying in touch with them, we want to make sure we're answering any questions they have. ... The summer camps are important, and those touch points are important, for sure."

 

ON ORGANIZATION DEPTH ON D:

"We're better today than we were yesterday (laughs). You can never have too many D. You look at our organization and I think we've done well. We've drafted and developed some quality young D the last couple years. Now there's that group having moved on, with the Valimakis, the Kylingtons, the Anderssons. That next group, we've added two real good players here. Now, we've got a draft that's coming up and I'm sure we'll draft more and so, you're always, constantly, trying to keep that pipeline flowing."

 

ON WHERE MACKEY AND POOLMAN FIT:

"These guys - they're not 17 or 18 years old. They're mature players. These guys are looking to push sooner rather than later. I think we're deeper in the position than we were yesterday. We've certainly got some decisions to make with guys on expiring contracts and we'll get to that in due time when we figure out where we're at with the season, but I like the fact that we've added two, good, solid, character individuals and good players to our organization. It was a good day for us."

 

ON WHEN WE'LL SEE THE NEW RECRUITS IN CALGARY:

"I never like putting guys in a box - and they haven't come and had a practice with us or done anything yet - so, let's let them do their thing when they get into Development Camp, Rookie Camp and so forth, and go from there."

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