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Five Questions With...

Five Questions with Brad Treliving

Flames GM discusses Heritage Classic against Jets, Lucic impact, relief signing Tkachuk

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving, whose team will play the Winnipeg Jets in the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN1, CITY, TVAS2, NHL.TV).

Brad Treliving admitted he could do without the unpredictability he's seen from the Calgary Flames in the first 10 games of the regular season.

The Flames general manager has witnessed plenty of stops and starts and little momentum in a 5-4-1 open to the season. He thought Calgary had something going with consecutive wins against the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1 on Oct. 15, and the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1 this past Thursday, but that was followed by a 4-1 loss at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Calgary rebounded to defeat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on the road Sunday.

Video: Stone, Backlund score as Flames defeat Ducks, 2-1

"It's been that famous movie, 'The Good, The Bad and the Ugly,' we've had all three," Treliving said. "I thought going into our conversation that we had started to build our game last week and there was consistency in our game. I thought we were generating a lot and limiting chances against. And our power play was starting to look dangerous. It was creating opportunities.

"But Saturday in L.A. we obviously took a step back. Overall, I didn't like our game there, but we rebounded [Sunday] in Anaheim. So, there's some inconsistency in our game right now that we've got to find a way to smooth over."

The Flames finished first in the Pacific Division and Western Conference last season with 107 points before being eliminated in five games by the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

They have two homes games this week before the Heritage Classic, hosting the Washington Capitals at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; SNF, NBCSWA, NHL.TV) and the Florida Panthers on Thursday. 

Here are Five Questions with Brad Treliving:

 

You have the two games to go before you arrive at the Heritage Classic but what's your anticipation level for the outdoor game?

"I know the team is looking forward to it but you're right, we've got a heavy schedule beforehand, including a back-to-back last weekend and honestly, it still seems a bit far away. We have a lot of business to worry about before we get there. But having said that, we know everyone's looking forward to participating in this game. The environment should be terrific and playing the Jets and the location of both teams with Regina in the middle, I think both fan bases will be well represented. Being able to participate on that stage is something very special and I think our players, a number have probably never done this and may never again. I'm a big fan of remembering moments and I think this will be one of them that our guys will cherish."

 

Talks with restricted free agent Matthew Tkachuk went on throughout the summer, so how much of a relief was it to get him signed to the three-year, $21 million contract on Sept. 25?

"You knew we were going to get him signed. It was just a matter of at what point. Obviously relieved. He's a really important player for us. The fact he didn't miss much time, maybe about a week of camp, that was key. We were able to get him in on time in terms of the regular season and get him on a deal that we thought worked for everybody. You never want anybody missing a day. And it allowed him to get in a week of camp and even a preseason game. He had been skating and working hard prior to that so certainly we were feeling better the day we got that signed."

Video: LAK@CGY: Tkachuk strikes after forcing turnover

 

There has been plenty of attention paid to the Milan Lucic-James Neal trade. Neal has nine goals in his first nine games (with the Edmonton Oilers). How is Lucic working out in Calgary?

"Obviously James has gone up [to Edmonton] and had a terrific start, without question. We've been happy with Milan since he's come in. He's been an excellent teammate. He's worked extremely hard. He's had an impact on games. We're not judging Milan's contributions to our team strictly on goals and point production (one assist in the first 10 games). I think he's been a very influential guy behind the scenes in the locker room. And I've liked his game. I think it's really direct. Hopefully he can get rewarded here for a lot of that good work. I know he's become a very popular teammate in a short period of time so we're happy with how Milan's playing."

 

Rasmus Andersson is 22 and played his 100th NHL game Sunday. He has quietly turned into a pretty solid defenseman for the Flames. How important has that development been for your team?

"He's a really, really intelligent player and his game, with the puck on his stick, he's got poise like few have. He's able to have that long fuse, can hold onto it, look people off and hold that extra second until a play or a seam develops. That's a special quality. He's bumped up and played with Mark Giordano at times on our first pair. As good as he is with the puck, I don't think he gets enough credit for how well he can defend. You're absolutely right that that he's somebody very few people know about. He's highly, highly competitive. We think he's just scratching the surface."

Video: CGY@VGK: Andersson snipes it by Fleury on the rush

 

How helpful is it that all of your young defensemen, Andersson, Juuso Valimaki, 21, Oliver Kylington, 22, and Noah Hanifin, 22, are exposed to Norris Trophy winner Mark Giordano on a regular basis?

"We benefit from that, no question. You hear that thing all the time about teaching people how to be a pro and important how you conduct yourself, how you work. So, to achieve elite habits and do the right things on and off the ice, you can talk about it or you can watch what Mark does. He can assist any young player and quite frankly, any player at any time of their career. When you're around him, you see what hard work really is. I've been around very few people that put in the effort he does and he's a captain in the truest sense of the word."

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