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Flames’ GM Warns Sutter Might Not Be His Last Change This Season

Brad Treliving talked his decision to change the coach and said the responsibility is on the players and he’ll continue looking at options.

While Brad Treliving’s messaging was pretty clear to the Calgary Flames’ players who, to this point, haven’t offered consistent play or a strong enough effort, that Sutter is here to stay may not be the only change the general manager makes.

Related: New Flames’ Coach Darryl Sutter Signs 3-Yr Deal, Debut Delayed

On Friday, Treliving spoke with media about his decision to hire Darryl Sutter and noted that he wasn’t laying the blame solely on former coach Geoff Ward, but that the Flames needed a change and, more specifically, they needed Sutter.

Treliving says a lot of the blame has to go to the players. He said, “Churning coaches is not something that leads to success, but the message to the players is, the coach they’ve got now isn’t going anywhere. It’s now on the players to perform.”

Could Treliving Make Trades?

Time is running out for every team, including Calgary if Treliving decides there’s more he wants to do. He noted the team will continue to look at other ways to improve the team but acknowledged trades are more difficult this season.

That means, if something is going to be done, it’s likely to be done sooner than later. Getting through COVID protocols, dealing with travel delays, and getting players acquainted to Sutter’s new system will take time. If a deal is out there, it might be best to make it soon.

Treliving spoke of emphasizing a new level of urgency and he hopes his players now recognize it. Should they not, it’s logical to assume these players won’t last.

Johnny Gaudreau Calgary Flames
Johnny Gaudreau Calgary Flames

Is It Time to Sell High on Gaudreau?

“It just hasn’t worked,” said one longtime NHL player and executive when talking about players like Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan being the face of this team’s offense. This executive added, “Change, he said, seems inevitable, and not just peripheral change but change at the very heart of the roster.”

Gaudreau is off to an impressive start but does not have trade protection. His name has been in the rumor mill before and his productive season might be the right time for the Flames to sell. If the Flames don’t turn things around and jump back into playoff contention, there are likely to be teams that look for a top-line winger.

Next: Devils Willing to Trade P.K. Subban, Bruins Might Be a Fit

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