“We’re not good enough today” Flames GM accepts responsibility following disappointing season
As members of the Calgary Flames returned to the Scotiabank Saddledome at the end of a season that failed to live up to the expectations of many of the players, fans and team brass, Flames GM Brad Treliving says he’s trying to determine what exactly went wrong.
“In a season where I think we underachieved and not met the expectations, the responsibility with that lies with me.” said Treliving.“I’m ultimately responsible.”
“It is my job now to first evaluate and do some self-reflection on the job that wasn’t done by myself and then what areas we need to improve upon and how we get the answers to the many questions that we have.”
The Calgary Flames finished the 2017-2018 campaign outside of the playoff picture in 11th place in the Western Conference with a 37-35-10 record.
“When you feel that you’re capable of more that means you’ve got some good people in place, you’ve got some good pieces in place,” said Treliving. “We’re obviously missing something and that may be getting more from what’s within, that may be changing certain areas (or) that may be adding to what’s within.”
Treliving says the team frequently fell short in big moments and often relied on a select few to do too much.
“I know patience is never the prevailing thought in situations like this but we rely on a lot of young players still and it’s a hard league for that. We have to continue to have patience with young players. We have to find a way to support them better. We have to find a way to drive them better. We have to find a way to, ultimately, get results.” The Flames’ GM says he will evaluate the season of head coach Glen Gulutzan but stated “We’ve got a good coach.”
Treliving, who is set to be entering his fifth season as the Flames’ GM, says special teams, team depth and individual performances will be subject to review. “We’ve got to continue to grow some young players. We’ve got to make our team better. We’re not good enough today.”
The Flames’ goaltending concerns of the final weeks of the season are of little concern to Treliving as he views a healthy Mike Smith as an elite NHL goaltender and holds the young netminders on the depth chart in high regard.
“When Mike (Smith) got injured it put two young goaltenders in a real tough spot,” said Treliving. “Up until that point, David (Rittich) had performed really well. Jon Gillies has performed really well in Stockton. If you look at his save percentage and his performance as a starter here, it’s pretty darn good.”
“I’m confident in the goaltenders we have.”
Treliving says there is reason for optimism regarding the Flames’ playoff chances in the coming years as the team’s young players continue to mature and progress in a Western Conference with few concrete favourites. “Looking at the Western Conference, I think there’s two teams that have separated themselves in Nashville and Winnipeg and then I think there’s a group of teams.”
A healthy roster would improve the Flames chances in 2018-2019 and Treliving says there’s no reason to suspect the late season injuries of several key players will be an issue when training camp opens.
Forward Sean Monahan underwent four surgeries at the end of the year but Treliving says the young centreman’s outlook is promising. “He was playing through some significant injuries. He’s going to be fine for October. He’ll take a few weeks here to recover. He had a lot of work done on his wrist. He had double hernia surgery. He’s on the path now. I don’t expect that it will linger into the fall.”
Treliving adds forward Matthew Tkachuk is doing much better after suffering an in-game concussion and defencemen T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic are recuperating from their concussions.