Three Questions With Flames AGM Brad Pascall

There’s quite a bit going on for the Calgary Flames organizationally and sometimes we don’t get a chance to dig into the farm team as much as we’d like. Thankfully, we had the opportunity to chat with Brad Pascall on the phone over the weekend. Pascall is the assistant general manager of the Flames, and operates in that capacity as the person in charge of the daily operations of the AHL’s Stockton Heat.

So in between games, player demotions and scrambling to find a second goalie for the Heat on the weekend, we had the chance to ask him questions about three quick topics.

(Answers have been slightly edited for clarity.)

HOW WAS THE DECISION MADE TO SEND KEEGAN KANZIG BACK TO THE WHL?

In Keegan’s case, part of his development plan is ensuring that he plays and he has to play games. The situation here in Stockton was he wasn’t going to have that opportunity, at least in the short term. He played one game, but we have a lot of other prospects here and one of his goals is to play games and continue his path of development. In order for him to do that, we felt the best situation for him was to go back to junior.

SUB-QUESTION: WAS IT AN OPTION TO SEND KANZIG TO ADIRONDACK?

Ultimately, we felt his development was best served for him by going back to junior, and playing a lot, playing in all situations, really focusing in on being a better player and being a well-rounded player. Of course, it was an option, but overall we felt that the best thing for his development was to go back to junior.

HOW DO YOU GAUGE JON GILLIES’ DEVELOPMENT THIS SEASON?

I think the thing for him, number one, is the transition into pro hockey. It’s out of a college environment and into a pro environment, so everything from living in an apartment, making his own meals, not going to class, how he spends his day, how he prepares for a scheduled game… Right now we’re playing kind of a college schedule, just weekends, but once things pick when up when you’re playing three or four games a week and how that preparation changes. And just being a good pro; the level of players that he’s going up against and the level of fitness needed, nutrition, and working out and following a regiment of stretching and what-have-you. That’s number one is the adjustment to the pro game. And number two, for him, as part of the adjustment to the pro game is just playing, and seeing the pro shots and getting in games and playing as many games as possible.

HOW IS OLIVER KYLINGTON PROGRESSING?

Oliver’s a young player who’s extremely talented with the puck, and as a young player, as any young player including Oliver, is working on becoming a well-rounded player. With that, is being a pro, of off-ice conditioning and on-ice working on things before and after practice, and really focusing in on what his development plan is as a young guy. He’s been impressive. He’s impressive. He’s obviously a good skater and very, very good with the puck. We feel that he’s enhancing and improving his game every day.

  • MattyFranchise

    Very excited for Kylington. Fans just need to remember that he’s a bit of a project. I’m predicting three seasons in the A, maybe part of a fourth. Given his age and the potential payoff, it’ll be well worth the wait.

    • supra steve

      Assuming he’s improving each month, his talent is too tantalizing not to bring him up to the NHL next year, I don’t think the Flames will wait 3 years.

      • supra steve

        Not sure how long they SHOULD leave OK in the AHL, but most D-men get at least 3 more years of development post draft before making the jump to the NHL. OK (and the organization) would probably benefit from slow, prolonged development.

        Having said that, if he’s tearing up the A come this time next year, he will need a shot at the NHL level.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        Kylington is not even up for a cup of coffee next season. I’m excited about his ceiling too, but no way he’s that close. Not many 19-20 yr old defensemen crack the NHL for a reason, it’s a tough position to play, especially in the best league in the world. I’d say 3 years before he sees any significant time in Calgary.

  • supra steve

    It’s not like Kylington is coming from junior, he’s already played against men in Europe. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for patience but I would take the under on 3 more years in the AHL.

  • Franko J

    To a layman, it sounds like Klington’s skill set would be a good fit for forward rather than defence? i.e. the mountain he has to climb to develop in his own end. Hockey question: at what point does a youngster growing up playing hockey get placed in a specific position and it sticks? And what’s the criteria? For example, in college football you get ‘athletes’ recruited that don’t ascribe to a particular position, and it’s not unheard of for college players to switch positions during their development or when they get drafted i.e. Denard Robinson, Michigan QB Jacksonville Jags RB. Could the same thing apply to hockey in any way? What makes a guy like Dustin B of the Jets able to play both forward and defence? Lots of questions…

    • MattyFranchise

      Well OK would be an offensive defenseman like Wideman is right now. Hopefully OK will be better than Wideman when he comes up and when he comes up Wideman will be long gone anyway.

      He fits an organizational need that will be coming up in the future and while defensive defensemen are good to have there are a number of players in the system that already fit that need such as Kulak and Wotherspoon.

      So, just throwing this out there for the sake of simplicity you end up with a group of six defensemen that are made up of 2 way defenders (Gio/Brodie) offensive defenders (Kylington/Hamilton) and defensive defenders (Kulak/Wotherspoon).

      Not saying that that is how this is going to work out in the end but having a good mix of different types of defenders in the system can only be a good thing since you can mix and match at any time if needed.