As much as you want that team to do well and show well, the object of Penticton necessarily isn’t winning and losing the tournament. It’s showing well and showing that you can play at this level. - Brad Treliving
CALGARY, AB -- Brad Treliving is looking at plenty when it comes to the Calgary Flames’ participation in the 2015 Young Stars Classic. Winning isn’t necessarily one of them.
With rookie camp opening Thursday with physicals at Canada Olympic Park’s WinSport facility before a flight to Penticton, BC, the Flames general manager is keen to keep an eye on who will step up and make an impression.
“This is a lot of their peer group they’re going to be looking to, whether it be Calgary or Stockton to make that roster, so there’s competition internally,” Treliving said. “As much as you want that team to do well and show well, the object of Penticton necessarily isn’t winning and losing the tournament. It’s showing well and showing that you can play at this level.
“This will be a significantly younger roster for us that we’re bringing there. It’s going to be a challenge for those kids, but a great way to kick off the season.”
The round-robin tournament begins Friday and features prospects from the Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks.
A year ago, Calgary submitted a roster to the Young Stars Classic that saw nearly a dozen skaters play a regular season for the Flames, including Johnny Gaudreau, Sam Bennett, Micheal Ferland, Markus Granlund, Emile Poirier and Josh Jooris.
While Treliving doesn’t expect a similar number to contribute to the Flames in 2015-16, he’s trying to relay the message that the rookie camp festivities offer the first step towards doing just that.
So make the most of it.
“It was funny looking back at that roster last year and all of a sudden there was a lot of guys that played significant roles,” he said. “Number one, it’s the first impression for these kids. It’s the first impression for them with the organization. In some ways as we say to them, there’s the need to do well to get to main camp. There’s a bit of a competition.
“As we say to these guys, training camps are quick. You don’t want to necessarily try to dip the toe in the water. Before you know it, all of a sudden it’s over and that chance has evaporated. You want to see how quickly they jump in, how quickly they grab ahold of it and how quickly they fit.”
The Flames GM, going through the process for a second time with Calgary, cautioned it’s still early in the process.
But make the most of the opportunity, he also warned.
“You also don’t want to get too carried away with it,” Treliving said. “This is still early September. There’s going to be a lot of nerves and the rest of it. But it’s important for them to make a good showing. You want to distinguish yourself, you want to set yourself apart and be a part of that group that’s going on after Penticton is over and be part of the camp in Calgary.
“As we say to them as we talk a little bit in the summer, you come into July…that’s orientation camp. That’s about learning. Now this is competition camp. This isn’t development camp. People are trying to make teams now.
“It’s a well-run tournament and for a lot of our kids this will be a challenge. For those young kids, it’s their first taste of pro hockey to a certain extent. It makes for a great experience."