Brad Treliving helped Don Maloney guide the Phoenix Coyotes through a difficult four-year span without an owner.
The Calgary Flames are hoping he can get them past a playoff-less streak that stretched to five years this season.
Calgary hired Treliving as its next general manager on Monday, finally filling the spot left by the firing of Jay Feaster in early December.
''I think this is a great opportunity, specifically for me but for any young general manager coming into this job,'' Treliving said. ''I had a great opportunity with Don Maloney. I was involved in everything. I was as close to that captain's chair as you can probably be being a No. 2 guy, but I'm not naive enough to know that there is a difference.''
The 44-year-old Treliving spent the past seven seasons as an assistant under Maloney, learning the ropes under the difficult circumstance of playing without an owner for four seasons. He also served as GM for the Coyotes' AHL affiliate in Portland, Maine.
In Calgary, Treliving will work under president of hockey operations Brian Burke. The Flames finished 35-40-7 and were 13th in the Western Conference with 77 points to miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season.
''From the period where I relieved Jay of his duties to today, we had a lot of time to focus on this and there has been a focus and it has been canvasing other GMs, 'Who would you hire if you were hiring a young guy?''' Burke said.
''It all kept coming back to Brad. It doesn't change anything. I'm here to help him now. My job is to help him on the upside as far as advice and going a certain direction, but also to chip in on the hockey side.''
Prior to joining the Coyotes, Treliving served as president of the Central Hockey League for seven years and also co-founded the Western Professional Hockey League in 1996.
As the Coyotes' vice president of hockey operations, Treliving worked closely with Maloney on personnel matters and helping build a team despite the financial limitations of being run by the NHL for four seasons. The Coyotes made the playoffs each of their four seasons without an owner before failing to reach the postseason the past two seasons.
Treliving's duties also included managing the professional and amateur scouting staffs and making player personnel assignments to the team's minor league affiliates.
Treliving played five professional seasons as a defenseman in the IHL and AHL.