Brad Treliving's best moves as an NHL general manager

New Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving admits that 'there’s a lot to get done' in Toronto but here are the top five moves he made in the Calgary Flames front office.

Video Transcript

- The Toronto Maple Leafs just hired Brad Treliving as the 18th general manager in franchise history. And you may find yourself wondering what Treliving is capable of. Well, he's got a track record of nine years as a Calgary Flames GM. And looking at the five best deals he made will give us a sense of that.

At number five, we have the deal for Tyler Toffoli. In this trade, the Flames got a guy who was kind of having a middling year the Montreal Canadiens, but they got him for 2 and 1/2 years at an AAV of $4.25 million. And after joining the Flames, he really took off. Last season, he had a career high with 34 goals and led the Flames with 73 points, which was also a career high.

Meanwhile on the Montreal side of the deal, they got a fourth liner into Tyler Petlick, a prospect in the Emil Heineman, who doesn't appear to be a blue chipper, a first round pick, which was only 26th overall, and a fifth round pick. It's a relatively big package. But it's pretty clear that Treliving came out on top, getting his top scorer for a bundle of OK assets.

At number four, we're going to go with the extension for Rasmus Andersson. Now, Rasmus Andersson is not some huge name all-star. But he's led the Calgary Flames in ice time for two consecutive seasons and put up 99 points at the time for the blue line. He's a very solid player. And his contract pays him less than $5 million, well below market value.

And what makes this deal a really good one for the Flames is that they really believed in him early. At the time of this extension, he'd never average 20 minutes a night. He'd never produced 20 points in a full NHL season. This was a case where Treliving believed in a player before it was clear that he was going to be an impact guy, signed him at a below market deal, and it had great results for the Flames for years afterwards.

At number three, we're going to give Treliving credit for drafting Matthew Tkachuk sixth overall. Now, Tkachuk did not stay with the Calgary Flames long enough to fully fulfill his potential there. But this is a franchise level player, a guy people are talking about as being potentially the next phase of the NHL. Selecting a player there in a top 10 pick, not first, second, or third overall, is very hard to do.

While Tkachuk wasn't some outside the box pick, at the same time, he could have selected Clayton Keller, a sniper who's not nearly as impactful, or someone like Alex Nylander, who's been a complete bust in that spot, and it wouldn't have been considered outrageous at the time. Instead, he identified someone who's good enough to build an entire team around. And although it did not end well for the Calgary Flames, Treliving deserves credit for making that selection.

At number two, we're going to go with the Flames' acquisition of Dougie Hamilton. Now, Hamilton was a young, [INAUDIBLE] first pair of defenseman capable of skating 20 minutes a night and being a huge part of the team's power play. That's a massive impact player. And Treliving was able to get him for a first round pick and two seconds. That might sound like a lot, but the Bruins absolutely blew those picks. They were unable to get anyone truly useful out of them. And while we don't know what the Flames might have done if they'd had those picks instead of Hamilton, it's safe to assume that what they got out of that defenseman was significantly more than what they would have gotten from those picks.

The number one best transaction that Brad Treliving made as the Calgary Flames general manager is a complicated one. In this deal, he traded Hamilton, who had been fantastic with the team, along with Michael Ferland and Adam Fox. And in return he got Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm. This was a risky deal, giving up Hamilton, who had been a huge part of the team, and Ferland, who had been very good as well. But Ferland's career ended up winding down due to injuries.

And Adam Fox sounds like a really big piece but ultimately wasn't because he was a player who was very, very reluctant to sign with the Flames. He looked like a prospect who had very little utility to Calgary at that time. And he didn't even end up playing with the Hurricanes. He sort of forced his way to New York. So they gave up a lot, but a lot that might not have really impacted the Flames going forward. And in return, they got Hanifin, who's a first pair defender they were able to sign to a six-year contract for less than $5 million a year, and Elias Lindholm, who produced 325 points in 367 games with the team.

At this point, has been a first line center for the team for years. And they also signed him to a team-friendly contract. So it was a lot for Treliving to offload in this deal. But coming back, he got someone who was an anchor of the defensive core as well as someone who was a [INAUDIBLE] for the team. That is remaking your team on the fly. And as a result, it's number one on Treliving's list of transactions.