Brad Treliving's most impactful decisions as a general manager

James Connelly
May 31, 2023  (11:01)

During his nine-year tenure in Calgary, Brad Treliving made many good moves and not as many bad moves.

Treliving was obviously a rock-solid GM being employed by the Flames for nearly a decade. With the high turnover rate of GMs in the NHL, it is a major accomplishment to be employed for that long.
We will be looking into Treliving's five best moves and five worst as a GM so that we can get an idea of what he will be like in Toronto.
Treliving's time in Calgary had more than five great moves. From the Tyler Toffoli Trade to the Mark Giordano signing, Treliving made some rock-solid moves.

5. The Gaudreau Contract

Treliving signed a masterful contract with Johnny Gaudreau predicting his value would appreciate over time. The contract was 6 x $6.75m which is a steal. Throughout the duration of this contract, Gaudreau would put up 466 points in 442 games. While the contract walked him directly to unrestricted free agency, he certainly outperformed his contract valuation and got a pay raise.

4. The Matthew Tkachuk Trade

This was a back-against-the-wall move for Treliving. He had just lost Johnny Gaudreau in free agency for nothing and needed to trade Matthew Tkachuk as he said he wanted out as well. Knowing Tkachuk's value would be depreciated just by him wanting out, Treliving needed to trade Tkachuk who had just put 104 points. In return, he got Jonathan Huberdeau who had just put up 115 points, Mackenzie Weegar, a prospect, and a 1st round pick in either 2025 or 2026. This was the biggest trade of potentially the past decade and the first one involving two 100 point scorers since the 20th century.

3. The 2015 Draft

The 2015 draft was franchise altering for numerous teams, including the Flames. Despite not picking in the first round, the Flames found two long term pieces in Rasmus Andersson (53rd overall) and Andrew Mangiapane (166th overall). The Flames also traded away the 15th, 45th, and 52nd pick for Dougie Hamilton on draft day. Hamilton is currently one of the best offensive defenseman in the NHL and it transitions into the number 2 pick on this list.

2. The Lindholm and Hanifin Trade

The trade that brought Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin was one of the biggest trades of 2018 and the 2010s. Lindholm and Hanifin were both former 5th overall picks (2013 and 2015) and were still yet to break out in the NHL. Giving up Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland, and Adam Fox, the Flames outright won this deal. The Hurricanes have nothing left among those three players while the Flames have Hanifin and Hamilton as two of their top players on very advantageous contracts. While seeing Adam Fox involved in the trade will set off some alarm bells, he was not going to sign in Calgary and did not in Carolina forcing his way to the Rangers where he plays today.

1. The 2016 Draft

The 2016 draft flat out altered the future of the Calgary Flames, and Treliving's career. Drafting 4 players who would go onto play NHL games and 2 superstars among those 4, this draft has been the pinnacle of Treliving's career. The two superstars he took were Matthew Tkachuk (6th overall) and Adam Fox (66th overall). He also took Dillon Dube who is a very solid middle six forward and Matthew Phillips who has only played in three NHL games but is one of the top AHL forwards and is still helping Calgary's franchise today.
While Treliving was forced to trade Tkachuk and Fox, it is very rare to draft two superstars in the same draft. Off of the top of my head, I can only name a few drafts where a team got two superstars. The Sedin draft for Vancouver, the Getzlaf/Perry draft for Anaheim, the 2017 draft for the Dallas Stars (Heiskanen, Robertson, and Ottinger) and that is sort of it. There are obviously more but it is a very rare thing to do and these drafts have changed the fortunes of franchises.
Now that we have gone over his five best moves, did your opinion of Treliving change? Obviously he is not perfect but there are many more moves he has made that deserve being noted. Hopefully, he can replicate some of what he did in Calgary in Toronto and change the future of the franchise for the better.
As seen on Yahoo Sports,
New Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving's best and worst moves
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Brad Treliving's most impactful decisions as a general manager

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