Are Flames Looking to Leafs Exec As Potential GM?
Another day, another Calgary Flames general manager rumour.
Depending on how widely you accept the accuracy of the sources, the Flames could be looking to interview everyone from Marc Bergevin and Mark Hunter to internal candidates Brad Pascall and the ever-popular Craig Conroy.
The organization’s president of hockey operations and interim Flames GM, Don Maloney, hasn’t let much leak out. The internal candidates have both served as long-time assistant general managers under Brad Treliving, who told the team he wasn’t going to take a new contract after his expires after June 30.
While Treliving sits in limbo, with the organization reportedly blocking him from interviewing with other teams until his current deal is done, the Calgary Flames are also doing due diligence on external possibilities.
Maloney said during his media availability announcing Treliving’s departure that he would look for somebody “younger, progressive (and) inventive” to take over as team architect.
To many, that screams someone like Kyle Dubas — whose contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs will end on June 30 as well.
But it was another member of Leafs management, Brandon Pridham, who was linked to the Flames on Monday by DailyFaceoff.com.
According to the report, the Flames were seeking permission to interview Pridham — yes, in spite of the rumblings they won’t grant others permission to do the same.
Pridham was one of a handful of names tossed out there in a busy start to the weekly rumour blasts. The 49-year-old has been with the Leafs for the better part of a decade, starting as the team’s salary cap guru and later promoting to assistant general manager.
The Flames’ next GM will need to work some cap magic with about $1.25M projected under the ceiling and a couple of forwards to plug into the lineup. They’ve also got seven notable players who will become unrestricted free agents after next season.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said on Monday that he believes the Flames are heading into “Phase Two” of their process, shortening the list and lining up interviews.
The names he’s heard included Bergevin and Hunter, as well as a speculative nod toward former NHL dynamo Ray Whitney — who has connections to Maloney through Arizona.
“I’ve heard Marc Bergevin’s name. I’ve mentioned Mark Hunter before, that I thought he was going to at least be on their list. Another person I wondered about is Ray Whitney, he has a history with Don Maloney and I’ve kind of wondered about that,” Friedman said on this week’s 32 Thoughts Podcast.
“But one thing that a couple people warned me was … don’t discount the internal candidates. One of them obviously is Craig Conroy. I’ve also wondered about the possibility of Brad Pascall. Someone said to me don’t discount that possibility. Don’t guarantee it, either. I don’t think the Flames have decided. But don’t discount the possibility. So that’s kind of where we are with the Flames.”
Former NHL goaltender Sean Burke has also been mentioned in previous rumours, and Eric Tulsky of the Eastern Conference Final-bound Carolina Hurricanes is considered a rising star who could be targeted by any of the teams looking to bolster their front office.
Things are heating up.