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Successful Flames draft weekend won't be measured by 26th overall pick

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CALGARY – A perfect draft weekend for the Calgary Flames would open with news Matthew Tkachuk has agreed to a lengthy contract extension.

It would also include landing a player 26th overall who has the size and grit of a Tkachuk and can step into the lineup this fall.

Neither is going to happen, which is why Brad Treliving enters the pick-a-player party with muted expectations.

“If something happens, great – but we may just go there and draft some players,” said the Flames GM, who will arrive at Friday’s draft in Vancouver with five picks including first, third, fourth, fifth and seventh-rounders.

Should he indeed return to Calgary with nothing but prospects to show for the star-selecting sleepover, it would be a radical departure for the Flames’ fifth-year architect who has spent the past three drafts making significant splashes.

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He isn’t sure that’s possible given the cost uncertainty associated with Tkachuk’s pending deal, which could eat up anywhere from $7 to $9 million of the $14.5 million he has remaining of the $83 million cap.

A buyout of Michael Stone’s final year at $3.5 million could provide some cap relief given the 29-year-old defenceman was seen as the coach’s eighth or ninth option this spring when everyone was healthy on his talented blue line peppered with emerging youth like Rasmus Andersson, Juuso Valimaki and Oliver Kylington.

Perhaps Stone, a serviceable third-pairing veteran, could also be packaged up in a deal........

© Sportsnet