NHL Rumors: What will be the main priorities for the Calgary Flames this offseason?

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman on The Jeff Marek Show on the Calgary Flames and what could happen this offseason.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Marek: “What’s next for the Calgary Flames? Felt bad for a lot of people night. Felt great for a lot of people in Nashville, who were surprised they’re still in this thing and they’re still alive, albeit, barely on life support here. Don’t kick the plug out of the wall just yet. There’s still life in the Nashville Predators.

Tough loss, shootout style. We all know their record in overtime and shootout. That story’s been well told, but what happens in your estimation now?

I mentioned off the top that the first decision is, who’s going to make the decision? Is it going to be Brad Treliving or is it going to be someone else considering his contract is expiring? Is that job number one or priority number one you think of this organization?

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Friedman: “Ya, I do think that that is going to be a big one to figure out. I think at some point this year the decision was made to punt that until after Calgary’s season was over. I do think that there have been, there were contract extension talks earlier in the year. I think the Calgary Flames have made it very clear that they would like Treliving to return.

But I just think that they reached a point in the year where the decision was made to punt it till the season was over. And now we’re here. So I think people have decisions to make and I think that’s kind of where we are.

At this point in time, as of Monday, I have no reason to believe that the Flames didn’t want him back. I just think that this has been a really stressful year, and everybody called a timeout. And that’s kind of where we are. Well, now the timeouts are over. It’s time to make some decisions.

So, I assume we’re going to get some clarity on that in the next little while. I think this thing, one of the things I think about the Flames, and someone told me this the other day, the number one thing they got to fix there is that this year, there were too many distractions. And I think that’s what they are going to tackle. Is, how do we end that? How do we get the focus back on where we need to be?

I think that’s going to be one of the biggest things that they are going to do in the offseason and if you look at their roster and see who’s up after next year, they have to sort that one out.

Marek: “I went through the names off the top of the show. It’s (Tyler) Toffoli, (Elias) Lindholm, (Blake) Coleman, (Noah) Hanifin, (Chris) Tanev, (Nikita) Zadorov.

Friedman: “You know what someone said to me was, they went through so many distractions this year on and off the ice. You can’t have a setup next year where that is looming over you all season.

So I think you’re right. Treliving is probably the first thing they got to sort out, and the second thing is, who’s coming and who’s staying. Cause that’s one of the things I’ve … Markstrom obviously, figuring him out is going to be a big one, although he played better at the end for sure. I just believe that the thing in all my conversations with people around there, who are connected to the team, it’s all been about, there’s too much focus this year on things that took away from the game. They have to sort that out.

Marek: “I think we’re all on the same page here about the goaltending and that’s something that needs to get straightened out. I played the clip of Rasmus Andersson off the top where he talked about their overtime and shootout record and if only they would have cut those half.

I just can’t help but wonder, cause I know the instinct right away when you have a disappointing season as Calgary Flames just had, their quick reaction from the fan base is, this is no good, blow it all up. This is awful. This guy’s got to go. That guy’s got to go. Bring in prospects, younger kids, youth movement, and all. That’s natural. We see that all the time. And that’s not what people like Brad Treliving are paid to do. To react to that. They’re paid to have a sober look at this thing and say okay, what are the guts of the team and what really happened out there?


“Maybe the worst thing they can do Elliotte is to overreact to all of this.”

Friedman: “Well I think the thing is, and Justin Bourne was one of the guys who did some pretty incredible work on it. There’s a real debate that the quality of their chances wasn’t very good. And I think the other thing they have to decide is, the way Sutter coaches, and in terms of tactics and stuff, I think he’s a very good coach. Does it fit the personnel they have?

I think the other too is, Walker Duehr, he carved out a spot on their team, but look, (Matt) Coronato. Like I don’t know if Coronato is going to start the year in the NHL next year. I think (Jakob) Pelletier should. Those guys, they have to understand they’re going to have roles there.

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And the other one I think is going to be really interesting is Dustin Wolf. That guy has no business being in the AHL next year. Maybe he’s the guy who solves your goaltending problem. But they have to find a spot for him.

I think the thing that’s gonna come up here is, they’re going to have to find a way to solve that overtime shootout problem. But night, I know there was a lot of debate about Nick Ritchie. Have you looked through the history of some of the Calgary Flames and the shootout?

Toffoli is like 2 for 17, although he’s 1 for 2 this year. Lindholm was like 2 for 13.

When I heard Darryl’s explanation that Ritchie scored this year against Nashville, it’s not as bad as I thought, but I still wonder about that whole idea of you go down with your best scorers not trying. Actually, the guy who I thought should have gone in the shootout night was Rasmus Andersson because he’s been one of the best Flames in the shootout this year. He’s had a couple of goals.

I think the tough thing is, people watch that and they say, in the biggest game of the year, do you end your season with your best offensive players not shooting even if their numbers are bad?

When I listened to what Sutter had to say, and I looked at the numbers, I thought his position was defensible but I was wondering where Andersson was, and I still wonder about the overall picture.

Because of the way it’s gone in Calgary this year, I think people kind of look at it and say, is he sending a message to some of his best players? And how are the best players going to react to that? There’s a lot to unpack in that particular thing. But I think this is an example of the kind of thing that Calgary’s got to fix. There’s got to be less talk on that and more focus on winning the game.

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I think the players at the end of the year. There was a meeting after that LA game, they said everybody, just shut up and play. I think that’s what they all want to get back to kind of.