Brad Treliving’s time as the general manager of the Calgary Flames has come to an end.
The team announced on Monday that they decided to “mutually part ways” with Treliving, shortly after the end of the Flames’ disappointing 2022-23 season.
With Treliving out, former Arizona Coyotes general manager Don Maloney will replace him in the interim (and was also promoted to head of hockey operations).
"It's a difficult day when you must part ways with a quality colleague and friend," Flames executive John Bean said. "We are grateful of Brad's contributions over the past nine years and wish him every success in his future, both personally and professionally. But for our fans and our business, we need to move forward, and we are confident with Don's experience that we will find the right general manager to build on Brad's work and lead our team to the Stanley Cup."
With this situation temporarily resolved (or covered for more time if Maloney ends up dropping the interim tag as GM), the Flames still face plenty of other important questions. Most pressingly, there must be resolution as far as head coach Darryl Sutter’s future. That matter is complicated by the fact that the Flames signed Sutter to a two-year contract extension that’s set to kick in next season.
Understandably, many will look back at the Flames’ tumultuous 2022 offseason as the biggest pivotal moment in a series of big moves by a GM often referred to as a “riverboat gambler.”
Instead of being stunned into paralysis when Johnny Gaudreau left in free agency and Matthew Tkachuk requested a trade, Treliving acted. He traded Tkachuk for what the team hoped would be a suitable Gaudreau replacement in Jonathan Huberdeau and underrated but talented defenceman MacKenzie Weegar.
Yet everything about that trade circles back to a larger review of Treliving’s work with the Flames: it was a mixed bag. Huberdeau’s upcoming $10.5 million cap hit looks like a disaster before it’s even begun. It’s reasonable to wonder if Sutter exacerbated problems with Huberdeau adjusting to a new team (and personally, it’s fair to wonder if Gaudreau and/or Tkachuk were that much less interested in staying with the Flames because of the prickly coach).
During Treliving’s nine years as GM, the results were similarly mixed: five playoff berths and four seasons where they missed the postseason. The team never appeared in a conference final under Treliving. Nonetheless, Sportsnet’s Eric Francis believes that Treliving will be able to “write his own ticket” as a free-agent executive.
As I've said many times before, Treliving is so well-thought of in the biz, he'll be able to write his own ticket.
He'll wait for the perfect opp before jumping into anything.
This is not a surprise.
He struggled w walking away from 9 years of work, but too many issues here
— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) April 17, 2023
It sounds like Treliving believes he’ll get another chance to construct a roster and run a team as a GM. He probably hopes that he’ll end up in a situation that’s simpler than the one he’s leaving behind.