Maple Leafs hire former Flames general manager Brad Treliving as new GM

Elliotte Friedman joins The Jeff Marek Show to discuss Brad Treliving's skillset and why it made him an appealing option as next Maple Leafs general manager, saying the former Flames executive's experience in a Canadian market was an asset.

The Toronto Maple Leafs hired former Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving on Wednesday to fill their vacant GM role.

“I am very excited and honoured to join the Toronto Maple Leafs as General Manager,” said Treliving via a team-released statement. “I would like to thank Brendan, MLSE and its Board for their support throughout this process. I’m thrilled to join an Original Six team and recognize how much the Maple Leafs mean to this community. This is a very exciting day for my family and I.”

“I’m very pleased to welcome Brad into the Maple Leafs organization,” said president Brendan Shanahan via a team-released statement. “Brad brings a wealth of knowledge from his years of experience as a General Manager and hockey executive in Calgary, Arizona and beyond. He has earned tremendous respect amongst his peers throughout his years in the NHL and has built excellent relationships at all levels within the game. We are confident that Brad’s leadership and strategic vision will elevate the Maple Leafs in our continued pursuit of a championship.”

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said during the Jeff Marek Show on Wednesday that he believed that the new GM was on his way to Toronto, where a media conference would be held on Thursday.

The Flames and Treliving mutually agreed to part ways in April after the team missed the playoffs.

Treliving was hired as Flames’ GM in April 2014.

The Flames made the post-season five times in nine seasons under Treliving, with their best showing being two second-round appearances.

Calgary won the Pacific Division title last year before losing to the Edmonton Oilers in the second round.

Last summer, Treliving had to do some heavy lifting after Johnny Gaudreau signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets in free agency and fellow star forward Matthew Tkachuk indicated he would not be open to re-signing a long-term deal with the Flames. Treliving dealt Tkachuk to the Panthers for forward Jonathan Huberdeau and defenceman MacKenzie Weegar in a deal that was widely praised, considering the lack of leverage for Calgary.

However, the Flames had a rocky season, with reported friction between players and coach Darryl Sutter, as well as between Sutter and Treliving.

After Treliving left the Flames, the team later fired Sutter.

The Leafs cut ties with GM Kyle Dubas on May 19 after five years at the helm. The team was ousted in five games in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Florida Panthers – after losses in the first round of the post-season in Dubas’ first four years in charge.

Three days later, Dubas’ agent sent new financial requests to Leafs president Brendan Shanahan. The next day, Shanahan informed Dubas he was no longer GM.

Treliving takes over a Leafs team that has had plenty of off-ice drama since being eliminated. Four days before Dubas was fired, he said during a media conference he wasn’t sure he wanted to return to the Leafs as GM because of family considerations. He had a contract that expires next month.

Coach Sheldon Keefe, hired by Dubas and with long-standing ties to the ex-Leafs GM, has one year left on his contract.

Treliving also has key decisions to make on some of the Leafs’ top players.

Top forwards Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and William Nylander all have no-movement clauses that kick in July 1. Matthews is eligible to sign a long-term extension the same day.

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