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Q&A: GM Treliving on how Flames rebound from disappointing playoffs

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30.09.2019

A big part of the narrative surrounding the start of the Calgary Flames’ season revolves around how last year ended.

Emphasizing that point is the agenda surrounding the team-building retreat in Kananaskis, where the players spent Sunday and Monday bonding.

"We’ve brought in a company out of Vermont to do a team-building thing that’s sort of really dealing with what happened at the end of the year and how we deal with it," said Flames GM Brad Treliving, whose club followed up a 107-point season with a five-game playoff exit courtesy of Colorado.

"It’s the whole idea of how you hold each another accountable and how you push each other. The company has done work with the (New England) Patriots and Wardo (assistant coach Geoff Ward) used them for the Bruins. There’s a whole science and agenda put to it."

There was a big dinner Sunday night at the lodge, an inspirational video of the Stanley Cup-winning Flames team, breakout groups and plans for a memorable finale.

"It’s all safe, but it ends with you’re 70 feet in the air and you’re relying on your teammates," said Treliving of the weather-permitting exercise.

"They worked on the whole thing on it all summer. It’s pretty powerful."

In a wide-ranging interview, Treliving spoke openly of the storylines, challenges and expectations facing a talented team that will have observers wondering all season long if the group capable of playoff success.

Here’s an edited transcript of his Q&A:

Sportsnet: Is it fair to say what happened in the playoffs last year is going to shape the approach of this team this year?

Treliving: I don’t put all the eggs in that basket. Everybody wants to focus on the end of last year. Last year at this time people didn’t know if we were going to be a playoff team. I know the narrative always changes. Last year is over with. No. 1 is we have to stay in the moment. Our worry is Game 1.

The focus on the playoffs and everything else, well, if you get worried about winning in the playoffs, then you don’t make the playoffs. The league is too good. We have to stay present. Our focus needs to be very clear on enjoying the process we’ve got to go through. We’re going to focus on getting better.

The only thing we talk about from last year is, ‘How do we use that........

© Sportsnet