Treliving sets sights on trades, free agency
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Minutes after the Ottawa Senators made Jacob Middleton the 210th and final pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving changed his focus.
Now, his attention is solely on the free agency period opening July 1st.
And after a slow weekend in terms of transactions on the floor, action could pick up in the days between the draft and Tuesday.
“It’s sort of like the stars are aligning a little bit here,” Treliving said. “This free agent courting period is giving people pause, not only to see what’s out there and what those terms may be, but also stalling getting your own people done because they’re out looking.
"I do think for teams that are nudged up against the cap or close to it, the numbers that came back in terms of the cap this year maybe gave some pause to some people with maybe under a little bit of some of the expectations.
“I said it coming in here, not everything is going to happen in the next two days but I think we’re going to still see some business getting done leading up to July 1.”
Finishing 27th in the league last season, the Flames undoubtedly have areas of need Treliving will be tasked with addressing.
The two that will top Treliving’s shopping list? Offence and defence.
“We want to address our blue line,” he said. “The blue line is an area we want to look at and then obviously depending on what happens with Mike (Cammalleri), offense, goal-scoring, production is something. Those are the two things right now we’re sort of looking at. Again, some of those things are going to be addressed as we go through the next couple days to see where things get to with Mike, for instance. Our blue line right now is something we’ll spend a little time on.”
There’s also the issue of another goaltender.
With Karri Ramo under contract for next season and the desire to have Joni Ortio carrying the bulk of the load in the American Hockey League with the Adirondack Flames, Calgary has another position to fill between the pipes.
That, Treliving admitted, could come either by free agency or on the trade front.
“It’s an interesting market for goaltenders,” he said. “I would say that. You also have to find goaltenders you like but there’s options out there right now, both free agency and trade. You’re balancing the trade situation, what type of asset it’s going to cost you. There are goaltenders out there.”
The Flames found one in Charlottetown Islanders stopper Mason McDonald, who was selected in the second round, 34th overall by Treliving.
But that selection, nor the Sam Bennett pick fourth overall, nor any other draft day dealings, will affect what Calgary hopes to do on the free agent front.
“We’ll see,” Treliving said. “We’d like to get another good goaltender. I’m not set in stone there. That maybe something that you look free agency. That might be something that comes through the trade market. We’ve done a lot of work on it right now. We’ll see how things fall here in the next little bit.
“If there are any decisions, anything coming out of today we had planned for, so it really didn’t affect our decision right after.”