We’re in a bunch of different markets on that. We’ll see how it goes. - Brad Treliving
BUFFALO, NY -- The Calgary Flames are open for business.
And general manager Brad Treliving hopes business gets done soon in finding his next starting goaltender.
“They tell me it’s good to have one,” Treliving said in his last address prior to the start of the 2016 NHL Draft on Friday.
“We’re in a bunch of different markets on that. We’ll see how it goes.
“To handicap it, we’re looking at everything and balancing it and we know we’re going to have one come October.”
An announced expansion to Las Vegas could help speed up Treliving’s timeline.
Teams will only be able to protect one puck-stopper in next year's expansion draft, leaving plenty of chatter about a flooded goaltending market.
“The idea of the expansion draft … it’s a year away,” Treliving said. “That idea that now that there’s expansion everybody is dying to give you players…that’s not the case. You prepare on how it affects your team in terms of who you want to protect and where there might be issues. You’re doing that internally, and then you’re looking at every other team and where there might be issues and matches.
“Whether that means something that happens today, tomorrow or might be something that happens at the deadline or next year at this time. There’s a knowledge of what may happen and so people are trying to see if they can be aggressive, or if that’s something that’s going to take some time.
“It’s a balancing act of timing. It’s a balancing act of acquisition cost. It’s all those things. You’ve seen it in the market so far. There are deals that have been done because of expansion coming. I expect there to be more. When those happen, we’ll see.”
The Flames could be looking at a complete remodel in net.
Jonas Hiller and Niklas Backstrom have already signed contracts to play in Europe next season; Hiller with EHC Biel in Switzerland, and Backstrom with HIFK in Finland. Karri Ramo is a pending unrestricted free agent, and Joni Ortio remains restricted.
Ramo led Calgary with 37 starts, and his team-high .909 save percentage was 49th among the 69 goaltenders who made at least 10 NHL appearances. Hiller, who went 9-11-1, finished dead last at .879, and Backstrom posted an .881 mark in four games. Ortio posted a 2.76 GAA and .902 save percentage in 22 appearances.
The search is on for Treliving.
“This is the time that you need a dance partner,” he said. “That’s how it works. You’d always like to get that taken care of. That’s our preference right now.
“In terms of close…things may happen. Things may not happen. I couldn’t predict timing.”