What’s next for the Calgary Flames now that Brad Treliving is gone?

Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
Jeff Middleton
1 year ago
Well, it’s officially official. The first domino has dropped in what will (and should) be a long off-season for the Calgary Flames, as the team announced that general manager Brad Treliving will not have his contract renewed, and the two parties have agreed to mutually part ways.
Treliving, even though fans may not have been on board with most of his decisions, was a face of stability in the organization. There weren’t many answers being thrown out about the direction of the team heading into the offseason (there still aren’t), but now that the general manager’s seat is open, things get more complicated.
So, what’s next? There are a bunch of loose ends hanging around, mostly referring to the man behind the bench. Elliotte Friedman mentioned in his newest 32 Thoughts article that “it is believed a deteriorating relationship with Sutter played a major role in the GM’s decision, that the two could not continue working together and really hadn’t communicated well in some time,” which is a pretty damning statement to anyone that laid eyes on it.
With the way that the team performed last season and the kind of performances that players who are being paid big money had, keeping Sutter around doesn’t make much sense, even if they’re paying him over $8 million. But now, with a search for a position of more priority underway, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Sutter stick around.
Of course, there is the possibility that a new general manager comes in and fires Sutter off the cuff, especially if Don Maloney is serious about bringing in a younger and more “inventive” mind. However, that requires other things to go correctly in a short period of time.
If there weren’t many issues with the roster that need to be addressed, then all of this drama may not be the biggest deal. But, there are issues, and the conundrum comes when you marry a head coach that may not be around much longer with an active general manager search, with an end result that may end going the opposite direction of what the current head coach wants.
So, to answer the ‘what’s next’ question, unfortunately for Flames fans, there’s not much else they can do except sit and wait. Some players have not stated a desire to re-sign long-term, and if they don’t feel like this is going in the right direction, then they may want to ask out. But who is going to move them with no general manager, and who is going to want to come into the situation that the team is dealing with currently? The Flames have no GM and a head coach that has had a track record over the last 365 days of poor communication, plus plenty of confusing lineup decisions.
Before anything can happen with the lineup, a new general manager needs to be found, and it has to be one that has an obvious vision for the Flames in 2023-24. But during this search, it feels as if Calgary is stuck in limbo, and while the search for a general manager needs to be thorough, time is of the essence as well.

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