In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, general manager Brad Treliving spoke about the blockbuster trade he made in 2018, and how the two players he required in Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin have exceeded his expectations. Another player involved in that deal, Adam Fox, was booed constantly on Saturday night as his New York Rangers took on the Flames. In other news, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun spoke late this past week on just how close Treliving came to acquiring Jack Eichel.
Treliving Thrilled with Lindholm and Hanifin’s Development
During the 2018 offseason, Treliving made a massive trade, sending Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and a prospect in Fox to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Lindholm and Hanifin. Though they gave up the best player in the trade in Hamilton, both Lindholm and Hanifin have become very important pieces to this Flames lineup, something Treliving is very happy about.
“We’re really happy with how they both have progressed and they’re still not old players,” Treliving said. “There’s still big upside. These are sound, good young men that are good to have in your group and they put in work.”
Since joining the Flames, Lindholm immediately became a major offensive threat, posting 78 points in his first season after never breaking the 50-point barrier in any of his five seasons with the Hurricanes. Hanifin didn’t turn into a top end talent quite as quickly, but has taken a big step in the past year, and is arguably the most important piece on the Flames back end. This is a rare trade in that you can say it benefitted both teams, and there wasn’t a clear loser.
Fox Booed Plenty and Often
As mentioned, the Flames traded a prospect in Fox to the Hurricanes in that 2018 deal. It wasn’t that they wanted to part ways with him, but were more so forced to do it as the now Rangers defenceman made it clear he wasn’t going to sign with the Flames.
Flames fans clearly haven’t forgotten about that, and weren’t shy to let Fox know what they think about him on Saturday night, as they made sure to boo him every time he touched the puck. The 23-year-old started off strong, scoring a highlight reel goal, though it got called back on an offside challenge. It was all Flames after that, as they went on to win the game 6-0, while Fox went minus 2 on the evening.
LeBrun Says Flames Were Close to Landing Eichel
The Eichel saga finally came to an end last week, as on Thursday the Buffalo Sabres traded him to the Vegas Golden Knights. This didn’t come as a major surprise as they were one of the teams linked to him this entire time, however many thought prior to the deal that he may be traded to the Flames. According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, that was nearly the case.
“Well one part that was certainly not true is that Matthew Tkachuk was never part of any offer from the Calgary Flames to the Buffalo Sabres,” LeBrun said. “Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams himself said that to Buffalo reporters on this day. But that’s not to say that the Calgary Flames did not come close to getting Jack Eichel. In fact, at one point on Wednesday there were some in the Vegas organization that thought Eichel was headed to Calgary. Brad Treliving, the general manager of the Flames, has been on this for a long time. He has done his due diligence. They were one of the few teams like Vegas that was comfortable with trading for Eichel pre surgery. The surgery that Darren Dreger just talked about. They didn’t get him but they certainly tried.”
This continues a disappointing trend for the Flames, as they far too often seem to be in the race for these high profiled players, but ultimately fall short. Regardless of whether or not acquiring Eichel at this point and time was the right move for this club, it marks yet another time Treliving was unsuccessful in acquiring a player he wanted.
Up Next for the Flames
Things are going quite well for the Flames right now, as they currently find themselves in second place in the Pacific Division with a 7-1-3 record. They have a chance to build on that, as they play the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, followed by the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, both of which are very winnable games. The final game of the week will be a trickier task, as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night. It won’t be easy, but they are capable of winning all three if they are at their best.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.