There’s talk, and there’s action. Brad Treliving has given us both.
Treliving has spent a lot of words telling the world that the surprise playoff run his Calgary Flames made this spring isn’t going to have him hitting the fast forward button in Calgary. The Flames GM has said, over and over, that he’s not going to give up a bunch of Calgary’s future for a handful of today, in the form of an older player who could help right now.
Then he showed in up Florida and made what may turn out to be the blockbuster of the 2015 NHL Draft.
The Flames dealt their first round pick and the Flames best two second round picks to Boston for pending free agent Dougie Hamilton, an opportunistic, bold move by the Flames GM to add a 6-foot-5, top-pairing, right-shot defenceman.
Rare is the opportunity to land a player like Hamilton anywhere but at the draft, and with a plethora of picks, why not give up three for a player who is just 22 and this good? Calgary dealt picks No. 15, 45 and 52, yet still has No. 53 to make a second round choice, acquired in the Sven Baertschi deal from Vancouver.
Seriously, if you told any GM at this draft that he’d pick 16th and 42nd, and one of those picks would turn into Hamilton? Thirty GMs would sign that deal in a heartbeat. Adding the 52nd pick gives Boston value — it’s a steep price, but one paid for a very good, very big, and very young NHL defenceman.
Treliving came to this draft with an eye to shore up his defence, and get bigger. He’s done both here, and still has six picks left in a deep draft to add to the system. With the team up the road adding centre Connor McDavid, let’s face it: Treliving wasn’t going to add a forward that could compete with Edmonton’s coming addition.
So why not one of the best sub-23-year-old D-men in the game today?
As for Hamilton, he’s a pending free agent and Calgary will have to pay in the Alex Pietrangelo range (seven years, $45.5 million). No troubles there —Calgary has both the money and cap space, especially for a core defenceman like Hamilton should prove to be.
This also means the Bruins have traded away both players drafted with the first-round picks they acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Phil Kessel trade. Tyler Seguin is in Dallas, dealt away by former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, and now Hamilton is in Calgary.
Seems like Boston is spinning its wheels, no? And Toronto? How would we be taking about the Leafs today if they had both Seguin and Hamilton in their lineup?