We’ve mapped it all out. Every sequence. The good news? If we stay where we’re at, we’re not going to have to wait very long. And, every scenario, without doing anything else - we like them all. - Brad Treliving
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Brad Treliving has been around the NHL for over a decade. He knows what the NHL Draft is about.
During his tenure with the Phoenix Coyotes, he acted as assistant general manager under Don Maloney, advising the team on a variety of issues, scouting players, and helping out at the draft.
But this is his first time in the drivers seat at the affair. And his first NHL Draft as a general manager? It's a big one.
This draft is viewed as an integral piece of the Flames rebuild. Last year, they added a plethora of talent and even got Sean Monahan, the sixth overall selection in 2013, into the lineup full-time in 2013-14.
The expectations are high this year but Treliving isn't feeling pressure to cure the team's ills in Philadelphia or when the free agency market opens on July 1.
"I was saying in the meetings today we're not going to fix all of our needs in 48 hours and not on July 1. We're going to have a real patient approach, but patient doesn't necessarily say we're not going to be aggressive or try to be creative and do things.
"As of now, nothing has transpired, but I don't know if I've slept since we got to Philadelphia or been off the phone. There's a lot that goes into it, but you can't just be gunned up to say, 'We've got to fix everything by next Wednesday.' That's not realistic. To me, that's when you make mistakes, whether it be giving up assets because you're so locked on one certain thing or you're paying too much contract term. There's a real desire to improve our team, but we're going to be aggressive but patience is required."
Treliving's confidence heading into the draft has been bolstered by his interactions with his scouts over the last two months. When he was hired on Apr. 28, he scarcely knew any of the team's scouts. He just knew them from meetings at various rinks. They would see each other as they grabbed a coffee or a meal, engaging in small talk before heading off to the next arena.
Treliving has spent the last couple of months working closely with them so that when it came time to craft their final draft list, everyone was on the same page. He has been extremely impressed with their work thus far, lauding them on their commitment and dedication.
"These guys are are on the road all year. This is the final exam. There’s a lot of excitement for them, as it should be. The next two days are their big two days. What I like is there has been a lot of healthy discussion.
"I’m not so worried about who is going to talk the loudest or who is going to bang the table the loudest. It’s, ‘Let’s make sensible, articulate, cerebral comments about why we like Player X and why we like Player Y.' We’ve had a lot of that. The information is good. They’ve done their work because when the tough questions are asked, they have answers. Now we just have to slot accordingly and make the right decisions. They’re ready to go."
The final list is almost complete but the team will hold another lengthy meeting today before heading over to the Wells Fargo Center for the draft. Treliving doesn't expect the list to change drastically but there may be a few players shuffled throughout the day.
"I don’t know if you ever stop tweaking ... But we’ll be ready to go when we get on the bus," Treliving said on Thursday afternoon.
"We’ve mapped it all out. Every sequence. The good news? If we stay where we’re at, we’re not going to have to wait very long. And, every scenario, without doing anything else - we like them all. It’s going to have to make a lot of sense to us and going to have to make sense to us to change where we’re at right now. But we’re ready for it."