The Calgary Flames and general manager Brad Treliving have mutually agreed to part ways upon the conclusion of his contract this season, the team announced Monday. Calgary has promoted Don Maloney to president of hockey operations, and he will serve as the interim general manager.
Interestingly enough, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports that Darryl Sutter’s job as head coach appears to be safe. Seravalli said it’s “fair to say” that Sutter’s continuation in his role influenced whether Calgary would re-sign Treliving.
Treliving had been with the Flames for nine years, during which he led the team to five playoff appearances. With the team massively underachieving this season after a transformational offseason, though, it was decided mutually that a new direction for both Treliving and the Flames was the right choice.
Maloney has been serving as senior vice president of hockey operations with the Flames for the past five seasons. He has previous GM experience in the NHL with the Coyotes, serving in that role from 2007 to 2016.
Calgary says Maloney’s appointment to the role is not permanent, and the interviewing process to find a new general manager will begin immediately.
For the Flames, it’s a chance to start a whole new regime on and off the ice, save for Sutter momentarily. With former core pieces Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan, and others gone by the wayside, along with noncommital answers on their future from Mikael Backlund and Elias Lindholm, there’s a chance for even more significant roster turnover in the near future.
Treliving is a very well-respected person in NHL front office circles, and, despite a disappointing end to his lengthy tenure in Calgary, should have no trouble finding another NHL role soon. Calgary Sports and Entertainment CEO and president John Bean gave a statement on Treliving’s departure:
It’s a difficult day when you must part ways with a quality colleague and friend. 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.
Darryl’s job shouldn’t be safe. Flames fans closer to the Dome are mostly against Darryl staying put, if the postgame callers and texters are representative. He waited far too long to change from “shot quantity” to “shot quality” to see benefits.
Those same Texters and Callers are not the ones paying Sutter his millions. 2 years and 4.8M left on his guaranteed contract.
@wreckage – And a coach under contract has *never* been let go, too, eh? No fan ever directly pays a coach’s salary, but many of those people have stated they’re not renewing their season tickets if he stays. That doesn’t equal actually doing it, but that’s what many are saying. Diminished number of butts-in-the-seats is exactly equal to diminished revenue for ownership, unless 5-alarm stupidity hits, and they try to recoup with a massive price jack-up.
@Mac, corporate buys all the lower bowl seats here in YYC anyways. Joe Schmo decides not to renew? SunCor or BMO will just take the extra tickets and write them off. Flames ownership aren’t too afraid of losing a couple fans. Now if the corporate money starts to dry up, that will get their attention.
@wreckage – That “boycott” thing is always a reality. If the trickle of potential lost fan revenue is ignored and treated as meaningless, eventually they can wake up one day and wonder why the barn is only half-full.
@Mac, Like I said, any fans decide not to renew, one of the Oil and gas companies or banks will gladly scoop up the tix. They’re not gonna worry about attendance.
@wreckage: Flames ownership might not, as you say, care about attendance, but Bettman should. Having empty seats at one of the flagship Canadian franchises is not good optics. Especially these days, with the stagnant salary cap, and Bally Sports, the television rights carrier of 12 NHL franchises, heading to bankruptcy. It’s not as simple as it seems on the surface. If fans are upset, the team and the league should listen. Especially if they’re making a real effort to replace the league’s oldest arena that hasn’t had major renovations.
@KRB, I’m saying that if the general fan gives up their season tickets, one of the corporate companies will buy them and fill the seats anyways. The arena will not sit half empty.
@KRB – What @wreckage is saying is that CGY could hide the disgruntled fans, which in other barns would masquerade as empty seats and lost revenue. At the Dome, those tickets could be “almost” giveaways, as long as companies get a tax write-off for it. You’d then expect them to pass along that cost to their customers in some form. If it’s business-to-business, though, it might never be seen by the general public. It still boils down to a mirage, worst-case. They did that in Florida a few years ago, and caused outrage with the actual paying customers, who found out the bozo sitting next to him got a freebie, which was not hard to come by. And, not to forget, an obvious outlet for some tickets would be on a league-endorsed ticket exchange, especially for visiting fans. If the companies had the tax break taken away, that would be another story, too. Those with the deepest pockets would probably find a way to cover the expense then. Bettman may not actually care if the fans in the seats are almost props, as long as the area’s companies are footing the bill. TV ratings, though, still matter.
@Mac – Wreckage makes a good point here. If Bettman & Co. cared about the traditional hockey fan, they wouldn’t continue to pander to their corporate sponsors and all of the various entities they endorse. This dynamic more than anything is ruining this sport at the professional level.
What I’m saying is too much corporate sponsorship, too few real fans, is not a good thing. I’ve heard pretty much since I started watching hockey, how hard it is to come by Maple Leaf tickets, but you still see rows of empty seats at Air Canada Center, and we all know they’re undistributed corporate tickets. But we all know there’s nothing we can do about it either. Every year, the little guy gets muscled out, and more and more we get corporate types filling seats. It hurts the optics, and should be a cause of concern. But ownership and league office doesn’t care. All that matters is the bottom line.
It’s not too dissimilar to people paying $5,000 to see a guy who sings about working men, and how great things used to be.
Ive seen plenty of empty seats at all Canadian arenas this season. And you just know the seats were bought by corporate sponsors, and went unused for whatever reason. This is not good.
@Gbear – His point is definitely valid, I agree. And, as you state, “If Bettman & Co. cared about the traditional hockey fan…”, also holds a boatload of truth, as well as “…ruining this sport at the professional level”. A thought just occurred to me – this is Bill Wirtz’ absolute dream. Chicago Stadium/UC always full, but only because there are enough well-off companies in the area to buy all the tickets. Too bad he isn’t around to see that come true, if it ever does in the Chicagoland area. Meanwhile, stiffs like us have to watch on TV or listen on radio. Rinse and repeat for CGY. Not all markets will have that luxury, but some do and will probably milk that cow for all it’s worth. But @KRB is correct in stating that even with corporate fat cats, seats can and have gone unused. But, Bettman has probably concocted a spin-zone script for that. That was rumored to be true when Little Caesar’s opened up, and many commentators kept pushing the line of, “they are all visiting the museum part of the facility and forgot about the game”.
@Gbear: Exactly what I was trying to say, Mr. Bear, but you were briefer, and more eloquent.
Be interesting to see how this goes but I’d expect it means full course ahead with continuing on this tire fire
My oh my the Flames are a mess.
They dump the GM because they want to keep Sutter?
The only way you keep Sutter is if you go full rebuild (as it doesn’t matter who your coach is – see Anaheim). Otherwise you have a bunch of players that are going to jump ship next summer, and 2 “stars” who are guaranteed to underperform.
They could change their logo to lie the “C” down. Then it would better reflect the tire fire in Calgary.
I hear Chuck Fletcher is available….
Might rival Vancouver and Philadelphia as the most dysfunctional franchises in the NHL. When even Buffalo and Arizona are trending in the right direction, and you’re not, well….boy, yo in a heap o’trouble!
Brian Burke making a comeback to cowtown?
Good Luck to the Flames new GM. Treliving just handed some long term extensions before last season.
I wish this news had come earlier so that Columbus could’ve taken a harder look at sending Jarmo out with Larsen. Tre would be a welcomed change and is a Columbus Chill original.
Calgary isn’t that bad – still a good team on paper.
Toffoli career year
Bad goaldtending from a Vezina finalist
Huberdeau needs to adapt to Sutter’s system
Wolf needs to be given a chance
Kadri needs to show up more often and be the player he can be
Backlund had a good year
Defense was fine – not great, but fine
Lindholm was solid if unspectacular
3 negatives in the other direction (even slightly) and this is a dangerous team
Is Sutter the reason that Lindhom and Backlund are hesitant to agree to an extension!?!?!?!
All in all, Treliving did about as good as a GM could in trying to plug the gaping holes left by losing both Tkachuk and Gaudreau. Don’t think Sutter adapted his system well enough to make it work with his new players.
Eric Francis at Sportsnet is reporting that in fact it was Treveling’s decision to walk (with friction with Sutter as a significant factor), and that this “joint” announcement is Calgary saving face.