Potential Calgary Flames general manager candidates
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
7 months ago
On Monday, the Calgary Flames announced that they and Brad Treliving have mutually agreed to go their separate ways. Treliving spent nine years with the Flames organization where the team went through some highs and lows.
But it is time to move on and begin a new chapter in Flames history. That all starts with who they are going to hire as the new general manager.
It sounds like president of hockey operations Don Maloney and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation CEO John Bean are looking for an up and coming mind in the hockey world to take over as GM, similar to what Treliving was as an assistant GM in Arizona when he was hired by the Flames in 2014.
“I think you need somebody younger, progressive, inventive, with hockey acumen.” is how Maloney described what he is looking for in a new GM. “We’re going to get the best person we think we can win with. And then support that person”.
Let’s take a look at some potential candidates for the job.
Conroy has been in the Flames front office since 2011 when he was hired at the special assistant to then-GM Jay Feaster. The Flames have been grooming Conroy for this type of position for years.
Conroy potentially has a leg up on his competition as he knows the Flames organization and the city inside and out. He has been through the ups and downs this franchise has faced dating back to his time as a player.
He knows what’s right with the organization. And he knows what’s wrong. Most importantly, he can learn from some of the mistakes that were made by Treliving.
Conroy should and will get a long look for the GM opening.
Pascall has been running the Flames AHL team in Stockton and now Calgary since 2014 and has done a quality job. The Flames farm system has graduated many players and coaches to the NHL level. All of Pascall’s work has culminated into a first-place finish in the AHL this season with the Wranglers.
Pascall worked at Hockey Canada for a number of years as their vice-president of hockey operations where he helped oversee all men’s national teams.
Pascall has had a lot of success in the game and has paid his dues. He should be equally looked at as a candidate for the GM’s job as Conroy will be.
The former Anaheim Ducks GM and now Flames professional scout could potentially be on the radar for the Flames GM search. He has worked with Darryl Sutter in the past when the Flames head coach was a consultant with the Ducks from 2019-2021.
[Editor’s note: Murray resigned from his position in Anaheim in November 2021 after an investigation into his “professional conduct.”]
I don’t think Murray is exactly what the Flames are looking for in a new GM based off of Maloney’s comments yesterday. But Murray’s connection to Sutter and knowledge of the Flames organization makes him a name we should at least bring up.
Outside the organization
Futa worked in the Los Angeles Kings organization for 13 seasons first as their director of amateur scouting and then as their VP of hockey operations and assistant GM.
He was a major part of the front office team that helped build those excellent Kings teams that won two Stanley Cups. Futa is currently working for the Carolina Hurricanes in an advisory role.
Futa also has a working relationship with Sutter as they worked together in LA for five seasons.
Burke is an interesting name that not a lot of people have mentioned. A lot of hiring decisions in the NHL come down to previous relationships. Burke and Maloney worked together for ten seasons in Arizona. Burke had a couple different roles including director of player development, goaltending coach and assistant GM.
Burke has also worked as an executive on a number of Hockey Canada teams at the men’s world championships, Spengler Cup, Deutschland Cup and Karjala Cup. He is currently the director of goaltending for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Burke has clearly been working towards becoming a GM of an NHL franchise. He might get his opportunity with his former colleague now running the Flames.
Data driven candidates
If the Flames want someone who is progressive and inventive, look no further than Carolina Hurricanes assistant GM, Eric Tulsky. He is one of the brightest minds in the NHL from a data and analytics perspective.
He has been a key member of one of the best run franchises in the NHL right now. The Hurricanes are known for their ability to be efficient with their salary cap. Have great asset management. And finding diamonds in the rough when it comes to free agents.
If it were up to me, he would be the guy I would try to hire.
Karmanos has been working in NHL front offices since 1998. He has been an assistant GM with the Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins and most recently the Buffalo Sabres. He has been a major part of the Sabres turnaround as an organization. He has overseen the building of their analytics department.
Karmanos has been a part of three Stanley Cup winning seasons: 2006 with the Hurricanes and 2016 & 2017 with the Penguins. He has a ton of experience and believes in a data driven approach. He could be an interesting candidate for the Flames.
There are a lot of rising stars in front offices across the NHL. Here are some other names to potentially keep an eye on.
Jason Botterill – assistant GM, Seattle Kraken
Laurence Gillman – assistant GM, Toronto Maple Leafs
Brandon Pridham – assistant GM, Toronto Maple Leafs
Mathieu Darche – assistant GM, Tampa Bay Lightning
Who do you want to see hired as the new GM of the Calgary Flames? Let us know in the comments section.
Recent articles from Robert Munnich