Brad Treliving’s instant availability has seen him pop up as a name around the league the Penguins should be seriously looking into over the coming weeks. Some inside league circles have even gone as far to say that Treliving should immediately be the Penguins No. 1 target. While so many in the media and others are fixated on the Penguins bringing in analytics driven individual to run the hockey operations department whether they have no experience or not running a team, as much as a wild card FSG’s ownership group is, rival executives would be stunned that Pittsburgh’s primary hire would be that type of individual with Sidney Crosby entering the final two years of his contract. The 2023-2024 season is going to be on selling Crosby to finish his career in Pittsburgh who team officials believe still has 3-4 great years left him in that he’s destined to be a Tom Brady type that can play at an elite level well into his late 30’s.

History of Big Swings: Every retread General Manager has their hits and misses but Treliving is intriguing for a wide variety of reasons in toeing-that-line of trying to retool over the summer to become a contender again and having an eye on the future. The Penguins need some bold maneuvering this summer. They can’t have someone come in and be patient and take a let’s see what happens next season approach. They need someone that will take some risks right away with the roster who won’t be afraid to take a couple big swings. Treliving has a history of being that guy from the Tkachuk situation last summer to the Jakob Markstrom signing, ect. And he’s been put in some tough situations. Turning a star young player wanting out into Jonathan Huberdeau, Mackenzie Weegar and a first-round pick was still a move 9 out of 10 General Managers in a win-now situation like Treliving was in would have made. Trading Dougie Hamilton and the rights to Adam Fox (both wanted out) for Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin was another example of a high pressure move Treliving has a history of making.

Identifying a General Manager who might have a different view from the head coach in how to fill out the roster at the forward position won’t be a bad thing either when restructuring the roster for the 2023-2024 season. The Penguins have to make a philosophical change in getting heavier up front. The days of targeting these Mikael Granlund’s types just needs to end and as much blame as Hextall & co get, Granlund’s been type of forward Sullivan has preferred for years. They need to be more Minnesota Wild in building a forward group beyond the core and Treliving was very effective over the course of his GM career at prioritizing players at the forward position who had a good combination of skill and size. From drafting the likes of Sam Bennett, Matthew Tkachuk to additions recently in the mold of Tyler Toffoli, Nazem Kadri shows a contrast to the type of styled forwards Pittsburgh has prioritized under the recent regimes and Sullivan. Even the Nick Ritchie addition by Treliving at the 2023 deadline gives another glimpse of the type of forwards Treliving likes to target in filling out the bottom-6.

Draft Success: A sense around the league is Treliving’s drafting ability and how well he is universally regarded in working with others and allowing others to their job inside the hockey operations department, furthers his stock as a candidate that should strongly interest the Penguins ownership group that’s making it a priority for multiple high-level individuals in different departments to be in-sync in working together.

Treliving had some home run drafts as Flames GM when it comes to identifying talent and a great run pretty much from 2015-2019. The 2015 draft was a home run in drafting or adding young talent. Treliving traded for Dougie Hamilton, drafted Andrew Mangiapane in the 6th round who’s nearly a $6 million a year player that scored 35 goals last season, selected defenseman Rasmus Andersson 53rd overall who’s now a 50 point type defenseman and also selected defenseman Oliver Kylington 60th overall. Kylington is also regular on the Flames blueline and had a 31-point season. 2016 was another home run draft. Matthew Tkachuk is a superstar, forward Dillon Dube was nabbed 56th overall and has appeared in almost 300 career NHL games already and has blossomed into a 45–50 point player. Treliving then drafted Adam Fox 66th overall. It might lack star power buts scouts also love the Flames 2019 draft class and there’s 3-4 legit NHL players out of that class long-term. To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!