Flames’ Treliving Facing Uncertain Future

It wasn’t all too long ago that Brad Treliving was beloved by Calgary Flames fans. He was able to save what appeared to have been a disaster with Johnny Gaudreau leaving and Matthew Tkachuk wanting out by bringing in Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri and MacKenzie Weegar. Those moves had many deeming the summer months as “The Summer of Brad”, and believed he had done enough to make this team a Stanley Cup contender. Being able to then sign Huberdeau and Weegar to extensions was simply icing on the cake (from ‘Ken Campbell: The summer of Brad Treliving is something to behold’, Hockey Unfiltered with Ken Campbell 08/18/22).

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Since that time, the public opinion of the Flames’ general manager has swayed in a big way. While some still believe he did the best he could given the situation he was in, others have criticized the large amounts of money he handed to both Huberdeau and Kadri. With the team struggling as a whole and ultimately missing the playoffs, many are beginning to question whether Treliving will still be with the team by the time the 2023-24 season rolls around.

Treliving’s Contract Coming to an End

While there has been plenty of talk surrounding the future of Darryl Sutter, it seems that the status of Treliving is failing to be discussed as much as it should. The interesting thing when it comes to him and the Flames potentially parting ways is that it wouldn’t come as a result of a firing. The 53-year-old entered the 2022-23 season in the final year of his contract with the organization and has yet to sign an extension.

It was reported by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun that the two sides had spoken about an extension this past offseason, but for whatever reason things didn’t work out. LeBrun also said that he fully expects the two sides to talk contract again, but didn’t set out a timeline for when he expects that to take place (from ‘Pierre LeBrun: Who’s next on the NHL’s GM hot seat after Flyers fire Chuck Fletcher?’, The Athletic 03/10/23).

Brad Treliving Calgary Flames
Brad Treliving, General Manager of the Calgary Flames (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Since being appointed to his position prior to the 2014-15 season, the Flames have made the playoffs on five occasions, and have reached the second round just once. That certainly doesn’t suggest his time with the Flames has been overly successful, as they seem to be a team who is often around the middle of the pack.

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In Treliving’s defense, he has pulled off several good moves over the years. One knock on him for some time was that he was afraid to pull the trigger on big deals, but he dispelled that notion with the trade of Tkachuk last summer.

The Flames choosing to part ways with Treliving isn’t the only reason he may not be back, either. There have been rumors that he may be looking to move on himself. Some have mentioned the fact he may look to get into the business world and help his father, Jim, with his Boston Pizza franchise, while others have suggested he may search for other opportunities in the hockey world outside of Calgary.

Change May Be Needed

Overall, I personally have been a fan of Treliving during his time with the Flames. While the team hasn’t had the success he nor the fans would have liked throughout his tenure, that has often been due to players underperforming rather than his managing decisions. He has put together a number of good teams through the regular season that were simply never able to elevate their games in the playoffs. With that said, a change may be best for both parties at this point.

Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving
Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal)

This may seem a bit contradictory given that I mentioned I have been a fan of Treliving’s, but the fact of the matter is that his teams haven’t been able to go the distance, or even get that close. Again, I don’t believe that falls on him as much as the players on the ice, but at the end of the day, this is a results business and he hasn’t gotten them. Instead, the Flames have been in the middle of the pack for some time, which is one of the worst spots you can be in any professional sport. Perhaps a new face and a new perspective are what would allow this team to turn into one of the league’s best.