Flames front office has international edge
CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames have bolstered their front office with plenty of international experience.
In doing so, general manager Brad Treliving feels it’s given them an edge.
“Information is the currency we trade in this business,” Treliving said. “You’re always trying to find out more information about a player. Having the ability to work the National programs, find more out about players that aren’t on your team that are on other teams is a valuable asset.”
In nine months, the Flames have added the internationally active Brian Burke and Brad Pascall to the organization.
Prior to joining the Flames in an assistant general manager capacity Friday, Pascall served as vice-president of hockey operations/National teams with Hockey Canada. He played an integral role for Canada’s gold medal entry at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Four years earlier, he collected gold with the Men’s Olympic Team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
The native of New Westminster, BC was also a part of Canada’s gold medal run at the World Junior Championship from 2005-09 and World Championship gold medals in 2003 and 2004.
“I spoke with every member of the NHL GM’s who were part of the Olympic management team, you could not get these guys off the phone in terms of the good things they said about Brad,” Treliving said. “He played a bigger part in these Olympic teams than most people realize. Bright, articulate, hard working, networker, a contact base, I think he’s going to fit in extremely well.”
Burke, hired as Calgary’s director of hockey operations last September, served as director of player personnel for the United States at the 2014 Olympics and was the general manager of the American squad that took silver in 2010.
He also held the position of general manager at the 1993, 2009 and 2010 World Championship and helped assemble the team that captured bronze in 2013.
“I think not only the skill set they bring but both of them have deep contact basis, deep knowledge on players that if you’re not around those programs, you don’t have,” Treliving said. “I think it’s a real unique skill set and very valuable.”
Pascall knows the value of the international connection.
“I think it’s a huge factor,” he said. “I think player development nowadays for any NHL club, especially the Calgary Flames, is huge. Anytime you’re drafting a player or signing a free agent, they’re an NHL asset for you so what are you doing with that asset to hopefully play for the Calgary Flames and be an elite player.
“Brian’s experience at USA Hockey and mine with Hockey Canada, I think we have a number of initiatives and innovative ideas. Winning doesn’t come by accident. We work hard at it. You have to really look at all the details of what it takes to win.”
The benefit of being around the international game is priceless.
It goes well beyond having a read on hockey’s top players, too.
“Having strong relationships,” Pascall began, “as I do with National Hockey League general managers, assistant GMs, the top players of the game and into coaching staffs, to be able to call those guys or email or text and getting information and asking for ideas and looking at players will definitely be a benefit for myself and for the Calgary Flames.”