Brad Treliving, 2024 NHL Draft
Brad Treliving, 2024 NHL Draft

After the conclusion of the NHL Draft, GM Brad Treliving discussed the acquisition of Chris Tanev’s rights, the selection of Ben Danford at 31st overall, and his efforts to retain his pending UFAs and RFAs.

Can you talk about the trade you made to acquire the rights to Chris Tanev?

Treliving: We talked since the end of the year about trying to help ourselves on defense. As it got closer and it looked like he might potentially not be signing in Dallas, we wanted to jump the queue here as best we could and get to him before free agency started. That is what we are going to do.

I know the player well. We will get to work on it now. I am at least excited to have an opportunity to speak directly to him and see if we can put something together.

Having known him for a while, what stands out about Tanev?

Treliving: He is just an elite defensive player. We talk about offensive players seeing things and seeing plays early. He does the same thing but on the defensive side of the puck. An absolute warrior. He is a culture carrier for your room.

I know the age he is at, but I think, even in the last year, he has shown he is one of the top shutdown defensemen and one of the top defensive players in the league. He is a right shot. He embodies everything you want in a teammate.

For us to have him right now is exciting. Hell of a player. Tremendous person. He will be a big part of our group if we can put it all together.

Would you look at the full term of eight years with Tanev?

Treliving: We can’t do eight years. The player has to be on your reserve list as of the trade deadline to be able to sign an eight year term. He doesn’t qualify for an eight-year contract.

How optimistic are you about getting deals done with Max Domi or Tyler Bertuzzi?

Treliving: Well, we don’t have an agreement yet. That is what we are working on, right? We have 24 or 30 hours before free agency starts. We will be in touch with them both.

Our cap situation is what our cap situation is. We have some holes to fill. We will keep working on it until we get a positive conclusion or they hit the market.

Will you qualify all of your RFAs?

Treliving: We will have something out on that in the next little bit. We are working on all of those fronts right now.

How concerned are you that the goalie market is thin right now?

Treliving: We will see what the goalie market is. We have been poking around in it. We know we have to shore that up on our end. We are confident that we can.

What do you like most about Ben Danford?

Treliving: He is a guy our staff was really passionate about all year. Specifically when you go through the process of putting your list together and you are digging in on it, he was a target that the group had. You want to see how the group falls.

I talked earlier about trying to get picks. Wes [Clark] was nervous when I started talking about all of these great ideas I had for trading down and hoping we didn’t get gapped up with the players.

The scouts are the ones who really know the players. The scouts put in the time. You trust your staff.

We were able to get a second out of it. We were hopeful, doing the homework that we do, that you could get him where we got him.

I have seen the player lots and watched a lot of video on him as well. I think he is an underrated player right now. He skates so well. With the way he defends, he is able to gap up. And the puck retrievals.

I think the offensive side of his game is still going to grow. He is a hard defender. High-character guy. Very competitive. There is a lot to like about him. We are very excited about the pick.

How important was it to get a second-rounder for next year?

Treliving: Our draft board was thin, right? You see a lot of pick movement today. We had a guy targeted and felt we could get him at a pick later in the draft.

When the opportunity came up to get a second next year and flip it for this year, that was really the thought process: trying to fill the board up a little bit for next year.

If this is the last in-person draft, what will be lost? The GMs make deals over dinner sometimes.

Treliving: I love everything about the draft. It is the interaction with hockey people. You can walk three tables down. I think it is unique in the sports world.

I think the biggest driver — and I am speaking specifically for myself — in terms of going to remote drafts is strictly timing. Everything being jammed up… We have the draft today. Everyone is going to scramble back to their places. Knowing you have to travel from west to east, we are going to work out here for a few days to do free agency.

The biggest driver of looking at remote is just the scheduling. It is the calendar. It is what it is. But the draft is a special thing when you have everybody on the floor. If indeed it is the last one, I will miss it for sure.

Which way did you vote?

Treliving: I voted to go remote. My preamble is just to tell you where I was coming from. I love the draft. I’d love to do it every year. It is just scheduling more than anything else.