One of the bigger questions of the NHL offseason was answered Monday with the Calgary Flames announcing they mutually agreed to part ways with general manager Brad Treliving.
The Flames were headed down this road before the season because Treliving was working under the final year of his contract. Those questions began to reignite after the Flames missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.
The Flames also announced that senior vice president of hockey operations Don Maloney will be the new president of hockey operations while also serving as interim GM.
Treliving, 53, took over the club in April 2014, which made him the NHL's sixth-longest serving GM. He oversaw the Flames at a time in which the club snapped a four-year streak of missing the playoffs by reaching the postseason in his first year. The Flames ultimately reached the postseason five times under Treliving, with the majority of those appearances resulting in the Flames losing in the first round.
Last year, the Flames lost in the second round to cross-provincial rival Edmonton, which opened the door for one of the more hectic offseason periods of any team. All-Star winger Johnny Gaudreau was a pending unrestricted free agent who chose to sign a seven-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. All-Star winger Matthew Tkachuk, a pending restricted free agent, told the team he would not sign a long-term contract. It led to Treliving trading Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers in a deal that saw All-Star winger Jonathan Huberdeau and puck-moving defenseman MacKenzie Weegar come to Calgary. Tkachuk signed an eight-year contract at the time of the trade.
Trading for Huberdeau and Weegar while signing center Nazem Kadri in free agency were among the focal points in the Flames' plan to replace Gaudreau and Tkachuk, who each scored 100 points in their final seasons in Calgary. Finding ways to consistently score goals became an issue for the Flames, which played a part in why they remained in the hunt for one of the two wild-card spots but struggled to firmly control their fate.
Whoever is hired as Treliving's successor will oversee a roster that CapFriendly projects to have $1.25 million in cap space because the Flames have several players with at least one year left on their contracts. For example, Huberdeau signed an eight-year deal last August worth $10.5 million that will start next season. Weegar signed an eight-year deal in October that will pay him $6.25 million annually.
The Flames are the second team this offseason to make a front-office change. The Penguins announced Friday that they had dismissed president of hockey operations Brian Burke, GM Ron Hextall and assistant GM Chris Pryor after the club missed the playoffs for the first time in 16 seasons.