Insider Trading: What does the future hold for Flames GM Treliving?
James Duthie is joined by TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun to discuss what rule changes could come out of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltending situation, where the Flames and general manager Brad Treliving go after missing the playoffs, if we’ll see Connor Bedard playing for Canada at the IIHF World Championship, and more on Insider Trading.
As far as cap complications go, this situation with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltending was an all-timer. At one point, it looked like the Leafs might have to sign two goaltenders to amateur tryouts to play in their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. In the end they get the National Hockey League to allow them to recall Joseph Woll from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. Is this going to lead to changes in the CBA going forward?
Darren Dreger: It’s not going to lead to an imminent change but what it leads to is more speculation and discussions among NHL clubs, specifically NHL general managers. When you’re a cap team like the Maple Leafs, you’re probably looking at that predicament and recognizing that that this is the most important position on the roster.
So it could be that the NHL, inside the collective bargaining agreement with the players’ association, create a specific emergency recall scenario for goalies only. Or at least more allowance and flexibility in what is a very rigid system right now that governs that emergency recall.
For the Maple Leafs, there was an argument that they put themselves in that situation by signing rookie Matthew Knies to his first NHL contract, but they could not control the concussion that goaltender Matt Murray suffered. So, it’s no question it’s problematic and there will be more dialogue required.
The Calgary Flames’ playoff dreams ended in a shootout last night so now the questions about the future start right away. It starts with the general manager, Brad Treliving.
Pierre LeBrun: Yes, it has to start with Treliving because his contract is expiring on June 30, so there has to be a decision there at some point soon.
One thing that’s important to remember is that a lot of people are wondering why he went through this year on an expiring contract. It’s not like ownership in Calgary didn’t go to him before the season and have a conversation, they did. In fact, right around the time Flames head coach Darryl Sutter was signed to a two-year extension before the season, there was also talk with Treliving and Flames ownership about a potential extension. But it didn’t happen for one reason or another.
I think what’s going to happen in the coming days is that Treliving and the Flames’ front office need some time to take stock because that organization is numb right now. They can’t believe they didn’t make the playoffs. But Treliving, individually, has to decompress and look at the fact that he’s been there nine years and ask himself if there’s an offer from ownership, does he sign it? Does he move on? I think there’s a lot going through Treliving’s mind just like there’s a lot going through a lot of people’s minds in Calgary right now.
The bottom line is that I think there will be a conversation between ownership and Treliving within the next week or two and from there a lot of big decisions will come in the off-season with a lot of players coming in with one year left on their deals.
On the same night the Flames’ playoff dreams ended, the spectacular junior career of Regina Pats forward Connor Bedard ends in Game 7 against the Saskatoon Blades. As a two-time World Junior gold medalist, is there any chance we can see him wearing the Team Canada sweater again at the World Championship?
Darren Dreger: There is a chance, but it feels like it’s a limited chance at this point. Hockey Canada is very mindful of everything Bedard has already delivered to this country and the season he has endured. It’s now been going on a year plus. If you look back to the World Juniors in the summer, there was Bedard. You look to the Christmas World Junior Hockey Championship, one more time, there’s Bedard playing and starring for his country.
Hockey Canada likes the idea of seeing the teenaged sensation representing his country one more time by playing at the men’s Worlds, but they also need to give him some space and a little bit more breathing room because he might need a break. So, they’ll revisit in a few days.
Maybe a TradeCentre deal that we underrated at the time was goaltender Joonas Korpisalo going to the Los Angeles Kings from the Columbus Blue Jackets. It’s been a really terrific fit for the Kings. Is there a chance this relationship goes a little more long term?
Pierre LeBrun: That’s certainly possible and people viewed Korpisalo as a rental at the time. He has a .926 save percentage in 10 starts since joining the Kings. There have been a couple of short conversations with his camp, agent Markus Lehto, and Kings’ management where both sides agreed not to go down that path right now with the playoffs right around the corner. They don’t want to add a distraction to Korpisalo’s life, who is playing so well. But I think it’s fair to say, depending on how the playoffs go, the two sides intend to speak again after the playoff season and certainly before July 1.