On Monday, April 17th, the first day of the NHL postseason, the Flames announced that they came to a mutual agreement with General Manager, Brad Treliving to part ways after nine seasons. In his place, Don Maloney will be the interim General Manager and President of Hockey Operations for the team. He’ll have some damage control to do one what seems to be the beginning of a very long offseason for the Flames.
Did the Fanbase Get Their Way?
The Flames fanbase is in a Canadian market and with a Canadian market comes another layer of passion that brings its positives and negatives. Treliving has seen his fair share of both over the years. As a person in the public eye and connected to a fanbase like that, it is nearly impossible to truly drown out the noise. Especially when it’s your name and occupation in question.
The way this season turned out for the Flames, the narrative around their failures has fallen on the shoulders of the leadership. Brad Treliving and Darryl Sutter included. Many felt this offseason needed a move involving the departure of one of these two, and from Monday’s press conference, it appears Treliving took control of his own fate and made that decision himself.
Don Maloney said in his media availability that he fully expected Treliving to re-sign and only heard of his doubts last Wednesday. Last Wednesday was also the last regular season game for the Flames. A game that was talked about for a variety of reasons but Treliving deciding to join the team on the bench for the morning skate stuck out as a change of patterns and an early sign something like this was to come.
While his reasons for leaving are his business, you have to wonder if the general view of him by this hockey market had a significant impact on this decision
Historical Season Results
2014-15 – 3rd in the Pacific, eliminated in the second round of the playoffs
2015-16 – 5th in the Pacific, didn’t qualify for the playoffs
2016-17 – 4th in the Pacific, eliminated in the first round of the playoffs
2017-18 – 5th in the Pacific, didn’t qualify for the playoffs
2018-19 – 1st in the Pacific, eliminated in the first round of the playoffs
2019-20 – 4th in the Pacific, eliminated in the first round of the playoffs
2020-21 – 5th in the North, didn’t qualify for the playoffs
2021-22 – 1st in the Pacific, eliminated in the second round of the playoffs
2022-23 – 5th in the Pacific, didn’t qualify for the playoffs
Brad Treliving made a lot of moves and tried a lot of unique tactics to help lead his team to the ultimate goal of the playoffs and Stanley Cup contention. As listed in the results above, he was successful in putting together the recipe for success to achieve a playoff berth on multiple occasions. Five of nine seasons resulted in postseason play for the Flames during his time with the team.
However, the consistency just is not there. Yes, the General Manager can’t lace up and join the guys on the ice, but the revolving door of coaches and goaltenders in particular were some of the hardest obstacles for the team to overcome in that time. How does a team go from best in the Division to hitting the golf course early in back-to-back seasons? The highs and lows of their season results were also felt in stretches of games where things would click one night and fall apart on the next.
The Last We See of Treliving?
While there are plenty of ways to answer that question, there is no doubt that there is interest in Trevling in this league. He clearly needs some time away from the game and the team to get back to his idea of normalcy before he considers his interest and pending offers he may have from other teams. How things shake down for other teams during the playoffs might also be a consideration. Ultimately, if Treliving wants a GM job for 2023-24 season or even beyond that, he is more than capable of landing one.