Don’t sleep on Brad Pascall as a Calgary Flames GM candidate
Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
By Ryan Pike7 months ago
Earlier this week, our Robert Munnich wrote about Craig Conroy’s candidacy for the open general manager job for the Calgary Flames. Conroy’s an attractive candidate with lots of relevant experience, and he should be strongly considered.
But don’t sleep on Conroy’s fellow assistant GM in Calgary, Brad Pascall. Pascall is an extremely strong candidate for the job.
Pascall has been around hockey for… awhile. A British Columbia product and a blueliner, he spent four seasons in the NCAA with the University of North Dakota, and he was a fifth-round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1990 NHL Draft. He spent three seasons bouncing around minor-pro in the Sabres organization before hanging up his skates and heading into the business side of sports.
Pascall landed with Hockey Canada in 1996 and worked his way up. His most prominent role, to most fans, was his four-year stint as their vice-president of hockey operations and national teams between 2010 and 2014. Here’s how Hockey Canada described that role in a media release:
“In this role, he led operations for all of Canada’s national men’s teams in international competition, including the Olympic Winter Games, IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Spengler Cup and Deutschland Cup. He also oversaw operations for Canada’s National Junior Team and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at various times.”
That’s a big, big job.
He was recruited to the Flames by Brad Treliving in 2014 as an assistant GM. His role was formed during that first season, and by the 2015-16 season he was officially listed by the AHL as the GM of the Flames’ minor league affiliate, the Stockton Heat. Since then, his gig has more or less been running the developmental apparatus of the hockey club and helping get fresh-faced youngsters integrated with the organization and ready for NHL duty.
When you look at the number of players (and coaches) that have graduated to the NHL, you could easily argue he’s done a good job in his role. It’s hard to give Pascall 100% credit for it, as hockey operations and especially player development is a collaborative process, but his group has been able to put people into the NHL. And he’s helped build up the Flames’ farm system into one that’s been extremely strong in the AHL over the past few seasons.
All-told, Pascall has spent around 27 years within the off-ice side of hockey between his time with Hockey Canada and the Flames. He might not be as prominent in the market as somebody with the history here that Conroy has, but he’s arguably an equally strong candidate for the big chair.
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