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Q&A: Flames GM Brad Treliving on playoff disappointment, off-season plans

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At the conclusion of the Calgary Flames’ first-round face-plant, GM Brad Treliving insisted he needed time to assess how his team went from finishing tops in the west to being ousted by the Avalanche in five games.

More than five weeks later he was finally able to talk about some of the team’s springtime shortfalls, which included an inability to use the speed and attack mentality they thrived on during the regular season.

In a wide-ranging interview Tuesday from the scouting combine in Buffalo, Treliving also addressed Johnny Gaudreau’s playoff struggles, the importance internal growth will play in his team’s evolution, trade speculation, the free buffet at the draft and his focus on signing Matthew Tkachuk, David Rittich and other free agents:

Sportsnet: You’ve had plenty of time to digest and delve into your team’s playoff failure. Have you uncovered why the team underachieved when it mattered most?

Treliving: Everybody wants to put it in a nice little box and have all the answers, but it’s not that easy.

When we watch the games again and break things down, at second blush some guys did better than I thought and some guys didn’t do as well. Obviously collectively we didn’t do enough.

As a hockey department, with our coaches and scouts, we have formalized a plan we want to move forward with here.

We’ll see how the weeks and month unfold. The general statement is we’ve got to get better. Not all of that is just airlifting in people. We think there are some areas we can improve on internally and we’re going to be better off for the experiences we went through.

We’re in a competitive market and a competitive business so we don’t want to announce we’re going to do this, that and the other, but there are certainly areas we’ve identified to improve.

Does that mean significant change is in the works like last year when you altered the culture with a new coach and a significant trade?

At the end of the day who knows what’s going to happen, but the idea that we’re going to take all of our young or core players and change them, that’s not going to happen.

Every year teams change. In a couple weeks somebody is going to win the Stanley Cup and I can guarantee you there will be changes to that team.

Change is part of our league. It happens for a whole bunch of different reasons — financial plays a big role in that.

We’re looking to make some improvements in our team as we do every year, but we’re not out there saying we have to turn over this roster.

It’s not just about changing the faces. We have to work with some people to help change their games a little bit.

Captain Mark Giordano suggested the team played it too safe in the post-season, didn’t attack and couldn’t find a way to........

© Sportsnet