On day one of unrestricted free agency, Brad Treliving discussed the additions of Ryan Reaves and John Klingberg and the areas of the roster he wants to address as the offseason continues.
What are you getting in Ryan Reaves?
Treliving: I remember Billy Guerin mentioned a while back — when he brought Ryan in — that you need character on your team, and sometimes you need some characters. I think there is a presence to Ryan.
It is not about fighting and all of the rest of it. I just felt both on the ice, in our room, and around our team, we need a little bit more noise. Ryan brings that.
There is a physical presence. He can still get in on the forecheck. He makes things difficult on the opposition. It gives us a little bit of a different look on our lower lines.
We are excited to have him.
Why did you feel you needed the personality of Reaves?
Treliving: I think every team needs personality. One thing in talking with the staff and looking at this group: It is a quiet group. Bringing some personality to it… not to say we don’t have personality on our team, but I think having a presence like Ryan will be a really positive influence for us.
Three guys for a player who is 36 years old seems like a lot. What made you comfortable with the term?
Treliving: At the end of the day, you’d like them all short, but you want to get the player. They wanted him to stay in Minnesota. He was given the opportunity to speak to teams earlier. We were able to talk with him and work out a deal.
To get the player, we felt we had to go where we went to in order to get Ryan on board.
John Klingberg has had some really big years in the league. What do you hope to get out of him for the one year?
Treliving: One of the things that I look at is trying to bring a little bit more offense from the blue line. John will be one of the first ones to tell you it didn’t go exactly the way he wanted to go last year, but he is a really good player in this league.
He can move the puck. He jumps up in the play. His ability in the offensive zone, particularly the power play… He is an elite offensive player in zone. To me, he is going to bring us some more puck movement and hopefully some more production from the blue line.
How do you feel about your blue line now that you have added Klingberg?
Treliving: It is always a work in progress. John is going to bring some offense to us.
Luke was a guy we certainly had a lot of interest in bringing back. He is that big, hard defender, but it got to a level where, as I said, it’s good for Luke.
We will look at it to see if there is a way to augment it. Defense is still an area I would like to continue to look at.
Is William Lagesson someone you are familiar with from his time on the Oilers?
Treliving: I saw him a lot in Edmonton. We had some people that we didn’t qualify. You saw it here with this team last year. You have injuries, and you have to have people come up and play games.
We want to continue to have a push from below. We think he will do that.
A lot of your UFAs move on from the team. To what extent was that disappointing?
Treliving: There are some good players. A lot of my focus, since coming here, has been working on our own players. There have been some good players.
I said when I was introduced that I thought Kyle Dubas did a really good job, especially at the deadline, of augmenting the team. For the most part, we tried. The price has got to fit.
I wish those players all the very best. It is a puzzle to put together. There were certain levels that we could go to, notwithstanding some of the other business we have to do. Unfortunately, there are some players we would love to have here, but good for them in getting the deals we got. We just couldn’t make a business deal.
How surprised are you by how some of those situations played out throughout the day?
Treliving: I wouldn’t say it is really unexpected, especially for our guys. Probably in the last day or so, we had a pretty good idea, especially with the guys that were here last year that signed elsewhere, that we weren’t going to be able to make it work.
We have some business to take care of throughout the summer and we wanted to make sure we are being prudent in terms of leaving ourselves some room moving forward. Term was an important thing for us in this free agency. I don’t know if there was anything that was overly surprising.
Where do you go now in terms of next moves? Do you turn to the trade market?
Treliving: We are looking at everything. I know the first few hours of July 1st get all of the attention, but we have all summer to build our team. We will continue to do it. We have some depth things that we have to look at later this afternoon and this evening into tomorrow.
We continue to look at ways to make ourselves better. It is a puzzle. You are working with X amount of cap dollars. We will explore all avenues, whether it be through continuing to look at the free-agent market, looking at the trade market, or continuing to look at any way we can improve the team.
What are the priorities you want to address positionally?
Treliving: We continue to look at depth on the blue line, but we also look up front. To me, depth scoring is a situation that we want to address.
There are two ways to address it. I still think there are some people in the organization that can push from below. Certainly, to the earlier question of whether it is through free agency or the trade market, it is an area we want to try to become deeper.
We had some goals walk out the door here today. Definitely, goal scoring is something we want to continue address not only today but throughout the summer.
Is the door still open on Alex Kerfoot?
Treliving: Until a player is either signed here or signed elsewhere, I don’t think the door is ever closed. A lot of these things are all dependent on fit, dollars, and all of that sort of stuff.
We have kept a pretty open dialogue with all of our guys. We will see how it goes.
Did conversations with Auston Matthews and William Nylander take place today?
Treliving: We have conversations all the time. Nothing new to report there other than continued dialogue. We continue to work toward a resolution.
What did you think of Milan Lucic coming back into the division with Boston?
Treliving: I saw that. He sent me a text and said, “I sign there and you have to bring [Reaves] in.”
I know what the city of Boston means to Looch. He is a proud guy. I am happy for him.