Grading Brad Treliving's First Season as the Toronto Maple Leafs GM

2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Team Performance

Grade: D

It is indisputable that the 2023-24 iteration of the Toronto Maple Leafs was the worst they have been in years.

Last year, the team at least won a playoff round against recent back-to-back cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

This year, the team had their worst record since 2019-20 in terms of points percentage (PTS%). By most metrics the Leafs suffered a major downgrade in terms of performance. Their special teams went from 26% down to 24% on the powerplay and their penalty kill went from 81.9% to 76.9%.

That isn’t all though, they scored 20 more goals this season over the course of the 82-game year but allowed 41 more goals than last. This tracks with their xG numbers, staying stagnant in xGF/60 at 6th league wide but dropping from 12th to 16th in xGA/60. 

This is due to many factors, some of which were completely out of the first-year GM’s hands like an injury riddled blue line and injuries to other key players like Mitch Marner and Joseph Woll.

This does not negate responsibility though. There is an argument to be made that Treliving should have either better prepared the team by allocating cap space more efficiently in the off-season or intervened when things started to look bad mid-season.

These issues could have been mitigated by making trades that would better equip the team at the deadline heading into the playoffs. Doing any one of these could have changed the team’s fortune and we could be having a vastly different conversation right now.

Unfortunately, between the regular season being an obvious downgrade and taking a step back in the postseason, Treliving receives a D-grade for the team performance as well. He had a major hand in roster construction by allocating nearly 25% of the team's salary cap last season.

Anytime a coach is fired, it is almost always because it is the easiest move and it is an indication that failure has happened and usually the blame extends beyond them.
All contract information via:

all Statistics via: , ,and

Overall Performance As GM:

Grade: C

Averaging out his grades, I give Treliving a C, edging close to a C-minus.

Looking ahead, he will have roughly a similar amount of cap space with an estimated $18.5 million available. He will have the chance to add more cap flexibility through trades but should be able to make do with that amount.


This season could prove to be more challenging though with both captain John Tavares and Mitch Marner’s contracts set to expire next summer. Hopefully at this point next season the Leafs are still in the playoffs and his grade can improve.