The answer to that question is yes. Could they have done more? Will they do more? This upcoming draft is expected to be one of the deepest in a long time.
- Traded F Sven Baertschi to Vancouver for a 2015 second round pick.
- Picked up D David Schlemko off waivers
- Traded F Curtis Glencross to Washington for 2015 second and third round picks.
- They now have 6 picks in the top 80 in the upcoming NHL Draft
I think Brad Treliving did the best he could. Both Glencross and Baertschi didn’t really fit into the team’s plans – nor did either of them seem likely to sign with the club. For two players that were going to fly the coop anyway, Treliving got three key draft picks in a deep draft. And he didn’t give up any roster players outside of Glencross; I had considered he may try to move either Karri Ramo or Mikael Backlund, and they were getting inquiries about defenders, but standing pat keeps the team’s roster about as strong as it can be, with two solid goaltenders and some center depth. The defensive group is the team’s weakness right now.
Although overshadowed by news of Mark Giordano’s season-ending injury, Monday marked one of the more successful trade-deadline days in recent Calgary Flames history.
When the dust settled on a day of rampant overpayment around the league, the Flames had done very little.
And, by doing so, they accomplished plenty.
General manager Brad Treliving avoided the pitfalls of giving up futures of any kind for rental players who pay off roughly once or twice every decade.
Instead, he actually cashed in on the inflation rate by turning Sven Baertschi into a second-round pick — a solid return and solution to a stalemate that clearly required the 22-year-old winger to change scenery if he is to have any chance at a regular NHL gig.
While Treliving, no doubt, considered all sorts of possible additions with a loose eye on trying to fill the void left by Giordano’s torn bicep, he remained singularly focused on what matters most — The Plan: A strategy to stop trying to straddle between the present and the future as the team has been guilty of for far too long.
And, by doing so, he leaves intact a dressing room that has shocked the world based largely on the cohesion Giordano and head coach Bob Hartley have done wonders to build internally.
The trading of Curtis Glencross was not only expected since October but was executed brilliantly Sunday, netting the squad a second- and a third-rounder from the Washington Capitals this summer. Given Glencross’ play this season, many believed a second-rounder would have been a coup, let alone adding a freebie in the third.
That’s six draft picks in the top 80 this summer.
Sure, it would have been nice to “reward” the current crew for its other-worldly play with a meaningful addition. Fact was, there were few significant players available and the price tags on them were laughable.
Long-term, the Flames are obviously far better off avoiding the deadline-day temptations that set this franchise back for years.
That said, he didn’t have a clearance sale, either. Treliving likely could have unloaded pending unrestricted free agents Karri Ramo and Raphael Diaz for meagre returns. However, Ramo is playing a key role in keeping the Flames in the playoff race, and given the team’s unexpected standing couldn’t possibly have been jettisoned once future starter Joni Ortio suffered a high-ankle sprain in the AHL. Diaz had little value on the open market and is needed here now that Giordano is out.
So, did they lose any ground roster-wise on any of the other teams battling for the final few spots in the west?
You bet they did.
The Minnesota Wild added second-line winger Chris Stewart and former Flames rearguard Jordan Leopold. This comes a week after grabbing Sean Bergenheim and seven weeks after GM Chuck Fletcher made the trade of the year by acquiring goalie Devan Dubnyk, whose play has seen them surge past the Flames in dramatic fashion.
The L.A. Kings grabbed a solid second-pairing defenceman in Andrej Sekera, which is another significant acquisition for a team tied with Calgary.
The Vancouver Canucks added small forwards Cory Conacher and Baertschi, neither or whom has yet been able to prove they are capable of producing at the NHL level. The San Jose Sharks also did some inconsequential tinkering, while the Winnipeg Jets made their big splash a while back adding Jiri Tlusty, Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers in separate deals.
From afar, one might suggest morale would be a tad low in Calgary given the loss of their captain and the fact management looked only to the future with their deals. If that’s how Hartley’s bunch chooses to react, then this team’s chances of making the playoffs are slimmer than Baertschi.
However, what got this team this far was its ability to shut out outside distractions, rally around one another, spit in the face of adversity and prove the hockey world wrong.
Hartley will use it as a motivator.
Sure, a playoff appearance would most certainly be another major step in the development of this young club, but it’s nowhere near the most important thing.
What matters most is having an unwavering plan to ensure the on-ice standards of this franchise are elevated far beyond where they have been for most of the last two decades.
Being singularly focused is the only way to do that, meaning it was mission accomplished Monday.