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The Calgary Flames have taken their lumps so far this offseason, first losing Johnny Gaudreau to the Columbus Blue Jackets in free agency, then having fellow star forward Matthew Tkachuk inform them he wasn't interested in staying with the franchise long-term.
Instead of complaining about his predicament, Flames general manager Brad Treliving quickly worked on a plan of action for how to keep his team competitive. Treliving was able to send Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a package headlined by 115-point scorer Jonathan Huberdeau and standout defenceman MacKenzie Weegar.
When the going gets tough, Treliving gets going.
"You can crawl into the fetal position and suck your thumb or you can deal with it. We’re going to deal with it,” Treliving told reporters in regards to how the past couple weeks have gone.
Despite the unenviable situation Treliving found himself in, he took the high road and thanked Tkachuk for his contributions to the team over his six-year tenure. What the 52-year-old doesn't have time for is the narrative that players don't want to stay in Calgary — something Gaudreau also tried to squash on his way out.
"A lot has been written, talked about and discussed in the past week about Calgary. The city, and us as an organization, have taken some body shots. Quite frankly, it pisses me off," Treliving said. "This is a wonderful community. Anybody that lives here is privileged to live in a wonderful community. We’ve got a top team in the league, a team that's competing every year to be a Stanley Cup champion and we're going to continue to do that.
"People have the right to pick and choose where they want to go but as a community and organization we do not have to apologize for anything. We're proud of who we are. We're proud of the community we work and live in."
“[Calgary] and us as an organization have taken some body shots. Quite frankly it pisses me off. As a community, as an organization, we do not have to apologize for anything. We’re proud of who we are.”
Flames GM Brad Treliving after the departures of Gaudreau and Tkachuk pic.twitter.com/xBG1Y1EE0N
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) July 23, 2022
With Gaudreau and Tkachuk out of the mix, it would have been a reasonable expectation for the Flames to take a big step backward and perhaps even consider a rebuild. That could still end up being the case, but on paper this team should remain in the mix for a playoff spot.
The Flames are coming off a 111-point season that saw them win the Pacific Division. Calgary was eliminated by the rival Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the playoffs.
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