Calgary Flames

Recapping Brad Treliving’s 2022 offseason signings and how he passed $1 billion total contract value

Brad Treliving has had one hockey offseason for the ages. From the moment the Flames were eliminated from the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the attention immediately turned towards the offseason and Calgary could not have been any busier.

It feels like a century ago when the Flames were looking at tendering contract extensions to Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. Those were the days. Almost ancient history by now, the Flames have turned over not just a new leaf but a new era and are looking forward to 2022–23.

Now that Calgary officially announced their opening night roster, that closes out the 2022 offseason. Treliving would likely argue that he put out exclamation point after exclamation point. From tending to restricted free agents (RFAs) and attracting unrestricted free agents (UFAs), Treliving did it all. Let’s see what the Flames general manager managed to do this summer in terms of signings.

The opening of free agency

PlayerDateContract TypeYearsAAVTotal
Nikita ZadorovJuly 13, 2022UFA2$3,750,000$7,500,000
Kevin RooneyJuly 13, 2022UFA2$1,300,000$2,600,000
Dennis GilbertJuly 13, 2022UFA2$762,500$1,525,000
Nick DeSimoneJuly 13, 2022UFA2$762,500$1,525,000
Trevor LewisJuly 13, 2022UFA (35+)1$800,000$1,000,000
Nicolas MelocheJuly 13, 2022UFA1$950,000$950,000
Oscar DanskJuly 13, 2022UFA1$750,000$750,000
Clark BishopJuly 13, 2022UFA1$750,000$750,000
Colton PoolmanJuly 13, 2022RFA1$750,000$750,000

The Flames signed nine contracts on the first day of free agency, none of which were to star player Gaudreau. Among the nine contracts, they addressed three (potentially four) NHL roles in signing Nikita Zadorov, Kevin Rooney, Trevor Lewis, and Nicolas Meloche.

After the Day 1 came to a close, the Flames barely scratched the surface in terms of contracts being handed out. The highest paid player was Zadorov with a total of $7.5M, and in total the Flames didn’t reach the $20M mark.

2022 signing total after the first day of free agency: $17,350,000

The first week of free agency

PlayerDateContract TypeYearsAAVTotal
Benjamin JonesJuly 16, 2022UFA1$750,000$750,000

We all know how the Flames went and lost Gaudreau to free agency. The settle the angst, Calgary went and signed the Vegas Golden Knights’ 2017 seventh-round pick Benjamin Jones to a one year, $750K contract.

That was literally it. Nothing more happened in terms of putting ink to paper. However, it was becoming clear that Tkachuk’s days were also numbered after the Flames filed for arbitration. Things were looking doom and gloom for Calgary and the sense of defeat was weighing heavily on the Flames community.

2022 signing total after the first week of free agency: $18,100,000

The trade that shook the hockey world

PlayerDateContract TypeYearsAAVTotal
Matthew TkachukJuly 22, 2022RFA8$9,500,000$76,000,000
Matthew PhillipsJuly 23, 2022RFA1$750,000$750,000

In the second week of free agency, however, the Flames changed up the script. Treliving executed the first ever sign-and-trade in NHL history. He signed Tkachuk to a whopping eight-year, $76M contract before immediately trading him to the Florida Panthers. That definitely counts towards Treliving’s total.

The day after, he also signed Matthew Phillips to a one-year contract as well.

The Flames were rapidly ushering in a new era, and suddenly their biggest tasks at hand involved extending to star players who had yet to suit up for Calgary a single time.

2022 signing total after July: $94,850,000

August was all business for Calgary

PlayerDateContract TypeYearsAAVTotal
Andrew MangiapaneAugust 2, 2022RFA3$5,800,000$17,400,000
Oliver KylingtonAugust 2, 2022RFA2$2,500,000$5,000,000
Martin PospisilAugust 2, 2022RFA1$750,000$750,000
Jonathan HuberdeauAugust 4, 2022UFA8$10,500,000$84,000,000
Nazem KadriAugust 18, 2022UFA7$7,000,000$49,000,000

The Flames let the dust settle down after the trade, but as soon as the calendar turned over to August, things picked up in an exorbitant pace.

First, the Flames extended Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington—both players earning pretty decent raises after their recent performances. They also re-signed prospect Martin Pospisil.

Then, on the fourth day of August, Treliving gave to us: The Huberdeau contract. It was a contract that made Flames history as the largest contract ever.

Adding one of the biggest exclamation points to his career as a general manager, Treliving signed UFA Nazem Kadri to a pretty hefty contract too. This was the contract that pushed him over $1,000,000,000 career contract value tendered to Calgary Flames. It also pushed him over the quarter-billion mark in 2022 alone.

2022 signing total after August: $251,000,000

The rest of the offseason

PlayerDateContract TypeYearsAAVTotal
Adam RuzickaSeptember 21, 2022RFA2$762,500$1,525,000
Brett RitchieSeptember 21, 2022UFA1$750,000$750,000
MacKenzie WeegarOctober 7, 2022UFA8$6,250,000$50,000,000

After the Kadri signing, things significantly cooled down for the Flames, and they tended to re-signing Adam Ruzicka and Brett Ritchie over the month of September.

Then, to put out his final exclamation mark of the offseason, Treliving extended MacKenzie Weegar with an eight-year, $50M contract.

That would be it for the offseason, as the Flames then announced their opening night roster mere days after the Weegar extension. The opening roster had omitted Michael Stone, and of course, the Flames signed him one day after rosters were due. However, his contract should not technically count as an offseason signing.

2022 offseason signing total: $303,275,000.

Treliving’s total signings compared to other GMs

As of October 11, 2022, Treliving has been responsible for exactly 200 signings with Stone being lucky number 200 with his fifth contract with the Flames. The grand total of those 200 signings equates to $1,093,865,625 for Treliving. Not bad for his eight-year tenure as Flames GM.

Across the NHL, Treliving’s currently one of the longest-tenured GMs, coming behind only: David Poile (NSH, 25 years), Doug Armstrong (STL, 12 years), Kevin Cheveldayoff (WPG, 11 years), Jarmo Kekalainen (CBJ, 9 years), and Jim Nill (DAL, 9 years). However, he’s tendered more total value than Cheveldayoff and Nill so far.

As a fun reference, here are the 10 GMs who have reached the billion dollar mark in terms of total contract value with one team. Again, numbers are up-to-date as of October 11, per CapFriendly.

GMTeamContractsTotal Contract ValueActive
David PoileNSH352$1,678,884,938Yes
Doug WilsonSJS333$1,554,420,500No
Doug ArmstrongSTL309$1,421,768,750Yes
Ken HollandDET240$1,169,033,332No
Stan BowmanCHI256$1,164,050,750No
Bob MurrayANA287$1,148,571,751No
Jarmo KekelainenCBJ234$1,134,371,400Yes
Marc BergevinMTL228$1,115,442,875No
Brad TrelivingCGY200$1,093,865,625Yes
Kevin CheveldayoffWPG227$1,031,730,250Yes

Steve Yzerman came tantalisingly close with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but was just shy at $988,981,686. Nill can be the next GM to reach the billion dollar mark as he sits at $956,127,188.

As for Treliving, he can climb up the list, and pending a contract extension for himself, he could easily find himself in the top five—maybe even top three—by the time his tenure is over. The Flames have a huge lineup of players up for contracts over the next two seasons, so it can definitely happen sooner rather than later.

An offseason for the ages

Treliving was given the keys to the car and more and he’s steered the Flames right back into Stanley Cup contention for the next several years. An unbelievable offseason has been highlighted with major signings and a personal milestone for Treliving that few GMs reach.

Now, onto the 2022–23 regular season.

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