It’s been a busy off-season for Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving, and it’s only just begun.
Less than a week after firing head coach Glen Gulutzan following an underwhelming 2017-18 in Calgary, the Flames have a new face behind the bench. Bill Peters was officially announced as the club’s new head coach on Monday after a rare contract clause allowed him to walk away from the Carolina Hurricanes last week with one year remaining on his deal.
Treliving joined Prime Time Sports on Tuesday to talk about the decision to release Gulutzan — one that “was a real difficult decision on a number of fronts,” he said — and discuss why he decided it was time for a change.
“First and foremost, step one is everybody taking accountability for it,” Treliving said, referring to the Flames’ disappointing output that saw them finish 11 points out of a playoff spot after many predicted they’d be a contender. “I’ve had a lot of talks with the players before and since the decision was made, and talked about all of our parts that we all played in this.”
Peters has four years of NHL head coaching experience, all with the Hurricanes, but never took the rebuilding team to the post-season.
“I think ultimately, when I look at Bill, the most important role of the coach is to maximize performance of the group,” Treliving explained when asked what Peters will bring to Calgary. “I think his ability to push and maximize what we have here. The manager and the hockey staff have to do their job in terms of finding ways to continue to improve the roster — that goes for every team every year — but when I sat down and looked at it, and having spent some time with Bill, albeit in a fairly short tournament a couple years ago, I’ve got a real good sense of his style, I’ve got a real good sense of how he deals with players, how he goes about his business, and I thought it was going to fit real well with the group of players we have here.”
Treliving and Peters worked together during the 2016 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Russia, where Treliving served as a co-GM alongside current Vegas GM George McPhee. Peters was the coach of that gold medal-winning team, and he’ll be representing Canada behind the bench again next month.
Listen to Treliving’s full interview here: