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Treliving taking temperature of trade market as deadline nears

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving has been busy in the days leading up to the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline.

But Treliving, whose Flames are off the pace for reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs and in the process of rebuilding, said he isn't sure how much activity remains for them before the deadline arrives at 3 p.m. ET Monday.

"The question is, why?" Treliving said Saturday after trading forward Jiri Hudler to the Florida Panthers for two draft picks.

"I think it's a financial reality. You're looking at those picks and prospects and they've got greater value now with the financial reality of our league. You're giving up a young prospect. That might be a guy that plays on your team, who's a good player that plays at a low number and allows you to do other things.

"That pick becomes more valuable whether you're making the selection or whether you're using it at draft time. I know everybody, when you make a pick, says 'Let's get 10 firsts and three seconds and five thirds.' That's not reality."

Entering its game against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, Calgary was 12 points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference, and 14 points behind the San Jose Sharks for third place in the Pacific Division.

That position in the standings gives Treliving the option to trade pending unrestricted free agent defenceman Kris Russell, forward David Jones and goaltender Jonas Hiller.

Treliving acquired forward prospect Hunter Shinkaruk from the Vancouver Canucks in a trade for center Markus Granlund on Monday. Hudler, able to become an unrestricted free agent, brought back a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

"This isn't 'Fantasy Island' here," Treliving said. "It's reality, and it's a tight market there. Those are decisions you make when you get to a certain level where you think the important piece is in, you can wait. Judging what else was going on out there, the players who have moved, who may or may not be moving, we just felt it was the right time."

If the right time is near for other trades, Treliving wasn't letting on.

"This is not a fun time for players going through this," he said. "There is a human element here, and that's important to me. If we make deals, we make them because it's important and doing the best for your organization. You try to maximize the best return you can, but you try to do it in a very dignified way. Around the League right now, people don't know where they might be today, tomorrow, the next day.

"That's the reality of the business, and everybody knows it, but to get into discussions about trading, to me, I think that if we go out there and make deals, we try to get the best returns we can and the market dictates that."

Treliving, who returned to Calgary early Saturday following a two-day hearing in New York for defenceman Dennis Wideman's final appeal of a 20-game suspension, wouldn't speculate on how much activity remains leading up to the deadline, but said he hopes to be active.

"I'm not going to handicap it," Treliving said. "It's going to be lots of calls. We're going to try to see if we can help ourselves. You've seen some teams be real aggressive in terms of adding pieces. I think it'll be much more organized. I won't be trying to connect Wi-Fi from planes going back and forth to the East Coast. That's good. It'll be busy.

"Our amount of activity? We'll see. We'll see."

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