Calgary Flames

A history of Brad Treliving at the trade deadline

Just like that, there are only four days and two regular season games left before General Manager Brad Treliving and the Calgary Flames face the trade deadline. Through the first 61 games of the season, the Flames are still a massive question mark.

Will they trade current players for assets? Will they spend to acquire some additional depth? Will they do absolutely nothing and leave fans in a further state of confusion? That remains to be seen.

What we do know is that GMBT is bound to be doing his due diligence in at least attempting to make some moves in any capacity. His reputation during his tenure has always been one to actively work the phones around any important date. Why should this year’s deadline be any different?

The most intriguing plot line heading into the deadline is the wariness fans hold over GMBT making any moves at all. That is most likely due to the current prices being reported and seen for available players, but also looks to be attributed to GMBT’s track record in past trades.

Fans have been supportive of his RFA track record, but his trading resume and UFA track record don’t really do his skills any justice.

With so much concern being displayed heading into the deadline, we wanted to take a look back on trades executed in and around past deadlines to see just exactly how active and successful GMBT has been:

2015 Deadline

In his first trade deadline as the Flames GM, Treliving made two deals:

Calgary Flames AcquireWashington Capitals Acquire
2015 2nd Round Pick (Jeremy Lauzon)
2015 3rd Round Pick (Jens Looke)
Curtis Glencross

The first was a deal many saw coming, as Glencross, who was an effective winger for the Flames at the time, was a clear trade candidate for many teams. GMBT was able to acquire two draft selections for the veteran, for which both of them became valuable trade pieces down the road.

The second round pick was included in the deal for Dougie Hamilton, while the 3rd was used to move up in the 2015 NHL draft and select Oliver Kylington.

The second trade was just as sucesfful:

Calgary Flames AcquireVancouver Canucks Acquire
2015 2nd Round Pick (Rasmus Andersson)Sven Baertschi

Although Baertschi was a touted prospect, he was falling down the prospect ranking and was unable to establish himself as a full time NHLer under Bob Hartley. GMBT traded the former first rounder to the Canucks for a second round selection.

People were quick to judge GMBT on this move, losing a former first round pick for a second rounder, but that selection became Rasmus Andersson who just inked a long term deal in Calgary. Baertschi would be an effective NHL player, but safe to say the Flames got rewarded here.

Verdict: Deadline Win

2016 Deadline

The 2016 trade deadline period was GMBT’s busiest, with four trades being executed.

Calgary Flames AcquireVancouver Canucks Acquire
Hunter ShinkarukMarkus Granlund

The first deal really doesn’t amount to much now that we look back on it. The Flames went after home town product Shinkaruk by giving up Granlund, who was in and out of the lineup. Although Granlund went on to have success in Vancouver, both players are no longer with those organizations. An even wash here.

Calgary Flames AcquireFlorida Panthers Acquire
2016 2nd Round Pick (Tyler Parsons)
2018 4th Round Pick (Demetrios Koumontzis)
Jiri Hudler

Another UFA, another multi-pick trade for GMBT. Hudler was a revelation the previous year for the Flames, but after his numbers fell in 2015-16 it was clear that he was going to be moved by the deadline due to his expiring contract.

The Flames were able to get two picks out of the deal, that turned into Parsons and Koumontzis. Both players have yet to hit the NHL stage, with Parsons the more likely candidate to do so, but both are in the system and came from an expiring deal.

Calgary Flames AcquireDallas Stars Acquire
Jyrki Jokipakka
Brett Pollock
2016 2nd Round Pick (Dillon Dube)
Kris Russell

A similar story can be told for Russell, who was also on his way out due to an expiring contract, but the Flames easily got the better of the Stars. Jokipakka would play a season with the Flames before being moved, Pollock never amounted to much and is no longer in the organization, but the draft pick acquired turned into current NHLer Dillon Dube. Dube is bound to be in the lineup for years to come, and GMBT got him out of this trade.

Calgary Flames AcquireMinnesota Wild Acquires
Niklas Backstrom
2016 6th Round Pick (Matthew Phillips)
David Jones

Finally, in one of the weirder deals made that day, the Flames shipped out bottom six winger Jones for veteran netminder Backstrom and a 6th round pick. Jones and Backstrom were out of the league the next year, but the draft pick acquired turned into Matthew Phillips – who is bound to make his NHL debut in the next year (hopefully). Sometimes late round picks do end up being the keys to some of the deals.

Verdict: Deadline Win

2017 Deadline

Calgary Flames AcquirePhoenix Coyotes Acquire
Michael Stone2017 3rd Round Pick (Stuart Skinner)
2018 5th Round Pick (Akira Schmid)

Finally a trade made that was acquiring a player. GMBT made the move in 2017 to acquire Michael Stone from Arizona for two picks, a third and conditional fifth. The third round pick would eventually make its way to the Edmonton Oilers, and the Flames gave up the 5th based on the fact that they resigned Stone prior to July 1st. Stone was a serviceable top four defenseman for those few months leading into the playoffs, but that was a long time ago.

Calgary Flames AcquireOttawa Senators Acquire
Curtis Lazar
Michael Kostka
2017 2rd Round Pick (Alex Formenton)
Jyrki Jokipakka

Easily the worst deadline deal that GMBT has executed, seconds before the deadline hit the Flames used a 2nd round pick to acquire Curtis Lazar. In need of a new scenery, Lazar was a gamble at the time for the Flames and looking back on it now it’s especially costly.

The Flames got 70 games out of Lazar over three seasons, but just three goals and fifteen points to show for it. The Senators drafted Alex Formenton, who looks to be a stellar prospect for the organization. The Flames would go on to let Lazar walk in free agency this past summer

Verdict: Deadline Disaster

2018 Deadline

Calgary Flames AcquireOttawa Senators Acquire
Nick Shore2019 7th Round Pick (Tyler Angle)

In easily the quietest deadline of his tenure, GMBT acquired depth player Nick Shore for a 7th round pick. Shore played nine games for the Flames registering three points, but the team would miss the post-season. It’s too early to tell what the draft pick will turn out to be, but quite the irrelvant move.

Verdict: Dull Deadline

2019 Deadline

Calgary Flames AcquireLA Kings Acquire
Oscar Fantenberg2020 4th Round Pick

Even with the Flames sitting in first place in the Western Conference, GMBT remained quiet on deadline day with just the one move to show. He used a 4th round pick in this year’s NHL draft to acquire Oscar Fantenberg. The defenseman would go on to play 18 games for the Flames, three in the playoffs, and filled the role quite well. Although dropped in the first round, Fantenberg was a decent acquistion. It will be some time before we know just how costly the pick was.

Verdict: Dull Deadline

What will he do next?

It’s clear that GMBT has excelled on deadline day when he has been a seller. The UFA players that he shipped out returned a wealth of assets that are turning into NHL players in front of our eyes. Unfortunately, the deals he has been a buyer for, and spent higher quality assets, have not turned out as well as they could have. Lazar’s trade will always be the black mark on his resume, but others just simply work out as well.

That being said, there are a number of deals that could have been made during deadline day that would have benefited the team. In 2018, the Flames were rumored to have been in on Evander Kane, but lost out to the Sharks. The Sharks would go on to make three deep playoff runs after that trade. That’s not to say this is the sole reason, but sometimes inaction can be as costly as reactionary moves.

Now of course that is just one example. The assets the Flames would have used most likely would have cost them a quality prospect or inability to make further deals that we have seen the past few years. Would last year’s playoff run had been more successful had GMBT given up the assets for Mark Stone?

It’s a game of woulda, coulda, shoulda, and frankly there is no knowing what alternate timelines we could wander down, but it’s safe to say that GMBT is able to extract value out of UFAs at the deadline and make decent depth additions for low acquisition costs. Will he do the same thing this year? Who knows, but I think it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing any drastic big game hunting in the next four days.

What do you think GMBT will do at the deadline? Which deadline deal was your favourite/least favourite? Let us know in the comments.

Trade information from NHL Trade Tracker and CapFriendly

Photo by Sergei Belski – USA Today Sports

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