Sven Baertschi was looking for another opportunity. Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving obliged.
Treliving optioning the team’s top pick (No. 13) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a second round pick in 2015.
“Sven’s time here has been well documented,” Treliving said. “To give a little background, in recent months, Sven — through his representative — had requested to be moved, was looking for an opportunity elsewhere.
“That’s not uncommon, that’s not a slight at all on the player. He had gone through some things, obviously hoping and wishing there was more time in Calgary than he had. The other part of this you had to look at is the progression of some of the other young players that have come up and have done well and in some cases have moved past Sven.”
Baertschi’s career with the Flames started hot, recording three goals and five games as an emergency recall from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League in 2011-12.
The following season, shortened by the work stoppage, the Bern, Switzerland native took 20 skates, recording three goals and 10 points. In 2013-14, Baertschi had two goals and 11 points in 26 games.
He suited up for another 15 games this season, recording zero goals and four assists.
In all, Baertschi has managed eight goals and 28 points in 66 career NHL games.
With his entry-level contract set to expire at the end of the 2014-15 season, Baertschi expressed a desire to move on from the Flames organization, Treliving admitted.
“More recently, in recent weeks, Sven’s representatives made it clear he did not have any intention in signing with us,” he said. “Sven is coming to the end of his entry-level [contract] and would be a restricted free agent this year and his desire is to not return.”
Calgary’s return on Baertschi, however, fit Treliving’s plan.
“We looked hard in the market to see if there’s a fit for him and value and the deal that we got was the best deal that was out there,” he said. “There was no pressure or urgency to do something now, we felt the return that we got was the best based upon conversations over a long period of time, not over the course of the last number of hours.”
The deal has bolstered the Flames heading into the draft.
Calgary already possesses their top three picks and added a second and third round pick from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Curtis Glencross. Swapping Baertschi for another second gives the Flames six picks in the opening three rounds of the draft.
“Adding the asset which we did — a second round pick in a deep draft — is a good asset for us,” Treliving said. “We look back here in the last couple of days, we were able to accumulate two second rounds to go with our own second round pick — that’s three second round picks and a third round pick — we’re at six picks in the first three rounds in what we think is a deep draft coming up here in June.
“Going into this draft with the number of early picks as we talked about, those picks to me now become more valuable from today on. Whether we make those picks, whether those are used in other deals to acquire players, we’ll see how things progress.”