Treliving, Flames rise to another significant occasion

Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The biggest events bring out the best in Brad Treliving.

Eight months after plucking Dougie Hamilton off the draft floor, the Calgary Flames' second-year general manager executed another plan on another salient event on the NHL calendar, engineering a series of shrewd deals in the lead-up to the trade deadline.

In all, Treliving turned a depth forward approaching his ceiling and three players on expiring contracts that, for all intents and purposes, could re-up with the club this summer, to acquire six functional assets (and a sixth-round lottery ticket) to fuel the team's continuing reconfiguration.

Here's his handiwork in full:

OUT: D Kris Russell, F Jiri Hudler, F Markus Granlund, F David Jones

IN: F Hunter Shinkaruk, D Jyrki Jokipakka, F Brett Pollock, two second-round picks (one of which could become a first), fourth-round pick, sixth-round pick

Perhaps his best move came at the expense of the organization which might, nay, is, feeling the most wrath from its fan base. Treliving revisited (and feasted) on a previously useful, and perhaps unusual, trade partner in Jim Benning's Vancouver Canucks with last week's acquisition of Shinkaruk for Granlund.

A former first-round selection, Calgary native, and one of the top AHL goal-scorers, Shinkaruk possesses much more upside than Granlund - a player who failed to carve out a role in 86 games.

With that swindling, Treliving then turned his attention to expiring contracts on his payroll.

First, two days before the deadline, Calgary received value on Hudler, acquiring second- and fourth-round draft picks from the Florida Panthers. Hudler contributed massive numbers previously, but needed 53 games this season (largely spent alongside Calgary's best two offensive players) to reach the 10-goal plateau.

For comparison sake, Hudler is averaging just 0.31 points per 60 minutes more than Kris Versteeg, who the Los Angeles Kings acquired for a fifth-round pick and a low-grade prospect.

Lastly, Treliving manufactured the trade deadline's greatest rental bounty. Russell, the mid-to-bottom pairing blue-liner who hangs his hat on shot blocks and other intangibles, brought back a young, controllable, NHL-ready puck mover to fill out the team's current group in Jokipakka, a former second-round pick and point-per-game WHL scorer in Pollock, and conditional second-round selection.

The pick, currently the Flames' third in the second round this summer, will be upgraded to a first-round pick should the Dallas Stars - currently third in the overall standings - win two series this spring.

Oh, and then long after the deadline has passed, it was announced Treliving dumped a third expiring contract in David Jones onto the Minnesota Wild for a sixth-round pick (and the right to house goalie Niklas Backstrom).

***

Stan Bowman's masterful roster augmentation in Chicago was objectively unmatched. But for Treliving and the Flames, who unlike the Blackhawks must balance improving the existing makeup with devotion to the process, might be right there behind the defending champions.

Until draft day, Brad.

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Treliving, Flames rise to another significant occasion
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