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TRADE WINDS

Craig Conroy says league-wide trade talk has heated up in Dallas

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

DALLAS - Things are heating up in Texas.

Prior to arriving in the Lone Star State, assistant GM Craig Conroy generalized trade discussions as quiet.

But ever since the 31 teams landed in Dallas, there has been plenty of chatter about potential moves.

"Two days ago, it was really quiet - nothing was going on," Conroy told CalgaryFlames.com. "But in the last two days - maybe not the first day we got here, on Tuesday but on Wednesday and today - it's definitely picking up.

"We don't want to just do a deal to make a deal. We want to make the right deal - something that helps us moving forward."

Ahead of every draft, plenty of picks change hands throughout the league. At the moment, the Flames own four picks in this year's draft: 105, 108, 167 and 198.

If the team is to make any trades, Conroy doesn't expect draft picks to be a big part of a deal.

"Brad is working the phones and usually, right now, everybody loves draft picks," he said. "We've traded a lot of draft picks the last couple of drafts now, for both Dougie and (Hamonic) … if we're going to make a move, it's probably going to be a hockey trade. If we're going to make a deal, it's probably going to involve players … for players."

Meanwhile, the amateur scouts are looking to land players they feel have high ceilings in those later rounds - a venture they've been very successful with in the past.

Cases in point: Johnny Gaudreau, fourth-round pick; TJ Brodie, fourth-round pick. Micheal Ferland, fifth-round pic; Brett Kulak, fourth-round pick.

"Those diamonds in the rough, you're looking (for them) … to really be successful in the draft, you've got to get some guys in the later rounds," Conroy explained.

"I was a sixth-round pick … maybe I have a soft spot for those late-round picks because you want to see them do well.

"You want to find … something special that you think 'Maybe everyone else is hard on him about skating or his size but he's got something special. Let's take a chance on this guy.'"

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