It’s exciting right now when you’re picking fourth. In January, it’s not so exciting. There’s a lot of pain to get a top-5 pick. To all of a sudden say we’re going to do something else, it would have to be significant. - Brad Treliving
CALGARY, AB -- It took a lot for the Calgary Flames to be picking fourth in the 2014 NHL Draft. It’ll take even more for general manager Brad Treliving to entertain the notion of not picking fourth on Friday.
Hired in late April, Treliving didn’t sit through the suffering the Flames endured to be selecting fourth overall.
But he can certainly feel that pain.
“It’s exciting right now when you’re picking fourth. In January, it’s not so exciting,” the Flames general manager said in advance of departing for Philadelphia -- the site of the draft. “There’s a lot of pain to get a top-5 pick. To all of a sudden say we’re going to do something else, it would have to be significant.”
It stands to reason, then, that Treliving is more than content at staying at four.
But that will more or less be determined by the buzz on the draft floor, the GM admits.
“There are scenarios,” Treliving admitted. “We’re not there yet. To go up, it comes back to the cost and the price. We’ve spent a lot of time talking to all the teams around us. I think I’ve got a good sense of what everybody’s looking to do. A lot of those scenarios of moving up and moving down, it really doesn’t happen until the draft floor or shortly there before.
“At the end of the day, if we pick four, we’re happy there too. We’re real happy. This isn’t something where we feel that we have to move from four. We’re in a real good position.”
And prepared for action.
Though it might not be his Flames causing a stir on the draft floor, Treliving expects 2014 will be ripe with action.
“I think it’s going to be busy,” Treliving said. “I think from now, we’re in draft week, I think there’s going to be activity. I think it’s going to be as busy and as volatile of a draft week as we’ve seen in recent memory.”
The Philadelphia Flyers made the first move Monday, sending winger Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward RJ Umberger and a fourth round pick in 2015.
There’s much, much more to come, Treliving senses.
“This could be the most active time we see surrounding a draft in recent memory,” he said. “And there are a lot of reasons why . . . there is some uncertainty. I think you’re seeing a lack of signing of UFA’s with their own team right now. They have the ability and right with the new CBA to go out and see what’s behind the curtain.
“That, in a lot of ways, I think is stalling a lot of free agents with signing with their own teams and I think what it does do is pushes you to look into the trade market.”
Regardless, though, Treliving has a beat on what will happen if and when the Flames step to the podium at Wells Fargo Center to announce their first selection just four picks in.
Much like potential trade scenarios, Treliving has mapped out all the possible scenarios leading into Friday’s first round.
Meaning little is left to surprise.
“In my mind, there are nine different scenarios in how the first four could go,” Treliving said. “Obviously that comes into play whether somebody moves the picks or so on and so forth. We’re prepared for every scenario.
“It’s an interesting time because very seldom, first of all, do you get such a lack of consensus. If there’s no moves, who is No. 1? Secondarily, not very often does the team holding the first pick openly talk about the potential of it moving.
“Those are a couple different dynamics, but whoever is there at four, we’ll have a nameplate and a jersey all ready for them.”