by PuckStopsHere on 04/29/14 at 12:19 AM ET
Two different teams announced new general managers today. The Calgary Flames announced that former Phoenix Coyote assistant GM Brad Treliving will be their next general manager and the Carolina Hurricanes announced Ron Francis will be their next general manager.
Brad Treliving has the resume a potentially good general manager. After a professional hockey career where he never made the NHL, he ran the start-up Western Professional Hockey League which ran in the southern US from 1996-2001. He got this opportunity because of his father Jim Treliving who owns the investment portfolio T & M Group of Companies and is one of the "dragons" on CBC's Dragons' Den where people pitch business ideas. He was successful in this roll and the WPHL was bought out by the Central Hockey League and Brad Treliving remained in charge. In 2007 he left and became an assistant GM in Phoenix. Given the financial constraints on the Coyotes as they went through bankruptcy and league ownership, they have done well during his run. While he got his start on the business side of hockey because of family connections he has done a pretty good job in a wide range of hockey positions. Treliving has the potential to be a very good GM. Like a player with potential, he may not succeed, but he has a good chance.
Carolina on the other hand hired their most famous ex-player. Ron Francis is a Hall of Fame hockey player. He has been groomed to be a general manager in Carolina but has never had to work his way up or hold a difficult off ice job. Ron Francis is much more likely to fail as an NHL GM because he lacks the background to do the job. Being a top NHL hockey player requires a different skillset.
Hiring any unproven general manager in the NHL is a risk. Hiring one with no proven background in tough hockey management positions is not a good plan. Carolina has no reason to imagine things will get better under Ron Francis. There is no reason to believe he is up to the job of NHL general manager. Calgary might be on the right track. Brad Treliving has done well in his hockey management positions. There is some question about whether he would have got his opportunity without family connections, but he has succeeded for years after that start. Calgary might have made a move in the right direction. They have a far better chance at it than Carolina.
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