‘There is where I want to be’

Con­tract ex­ten­sion lets Tre­liv­ing keep build­ing Flames around youth­ful ta­lent

Cape Breton Post - - Sports -

Brad Tre­liv­ing wasn’t wor­ried that his con­tract was com­ing to an end as gen­eral man­ager of the Calgary Flames.

The Flames were not about to let go of the GM who has led them to two play­off ap­pear­ances in the three sea­sons since he was hired in April, 2014, af­ter miss­ing the post-sea­son the pre­vi­ous five years.

“You’re glad it’s done but I was al­ways con­fi­dent it would get done,” Tre­liv­ing said Tues­day. “This is where I want to be.”

The Flames signed Tre­liv­ing to a multi-year con­tract ex­ten­sion on Mon­day, which will al­low him to con­tinue a re­build­ing project cen­tred on the team’s core of young ta­lent.

The main job this off-sea­son, as it was last sum­mer, will be se­cur­ing the goal­tend­ing po­si­tion.

Brian El­liott had a slow start, then was ex­cel­lent late in the sea­son as the Flames pushed for a play­off spot. But he was heav­ily crit­i­cized for some soft goals as the Flames were swept in the first round by the Ana­heim

Ducks.

El­liott and backup Chad John­son are due to be­come un­re­stricted free agents. Tre­liv­ing may try to bring both back.

“They’re both up and we’ll re­view it and look at what our op­tions are,” he said. “I think both goal­tenders are re­spon­si­ble for us get­ting in the play­offs.

“Chad was ex­cel­lent early when our sea­son was in dan­ger of fall­ing off a cliff and, at the end, Brian was as good as any­one in the league.”

Tre­liv­ing made sure to lock up his top young stars last sum­mer when he signed Sean Mon­a­han to a seven-year con­tract worth US$44.6 mil­lion and

Johnny Gau­dreau to a six-year deal worth $40.5 mil­lion.

The po­ten­tial re­stricted free agents this year in­clude young­sters Sam Ben­nett and Cur­tis Lazar, as well as Michael Fer­land.

Tre­liv­ing said Ben­nett in par­tic­u­lar is “part of that core” of young ta­lent he hopes to build on.

“It’s a young group that’s grow­ing,” he said. “We added some vet­eran play­ers that re­ally helped our team this year but we know we have to get bet­ter.

“We have to get bet­ter in­ter­nally and in our ex­ter­nal moves.”

One in­ter­nal im­prove­ment ar­rived at the 2016 draft when they got for­ward Matthew Tkachuk sixth over­all.

De­ci­sions must also be made on im­pend­ing un­re­stricted free agents Kris Ver­steeg, Derek En­gel­land and Michael Stone.

Moves Tre­liv­ing has made since tak­ing over as GM in­clude sign­ing top de­fence­man Mark Giordano to a long term deal, ac­quir­ing rear­guard Dougie Hamil­ton from Bos­ton and re­plac­ing coach Bob Hart­ley last sum­mer with Glen Gu­lutzan.

“Brad has done a good job in lead­ing our club and has clearly earned this re­ward,” Calgary Sports and En­ter­tain­ment Cor­po­ra­tion pres­i­dent Ken King said. “We have great faith in our hockey op­er­a­tions struc­ture and we look for­ward to con­tin­ued and im­proved re­sults.”

CP PHOTO

Calgary Flames GM Brad Tre­liv­ing speaks at a press con­fer­ence af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced in Calgary, Alta. in April 2014.

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