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MALONEY READY FOR NEW CHALLENGE

He has been named the Flames' Vice President of Hockey Operations

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Don Maloney is ready to roll up his sleeves. He knows he'll be left little to no choice in the matter.

The mucker beside him, after all, has already got his raised way past the elbows.

"Brad,'' marvels the Flames' just-installed Vice President of Hockey Operations, "is a workaholic. There's no other way to describe him. It's crazy. Just crazy.

"Look, I like to work. I like to grind. I thought I was bad but I look like a rookie compared to this guy.

"I really do admire the environment he's created. The staff, the people he's surrounded himself with. The way he does business.

"We've known each other a long time and we're obviously very good friends.

"I have 100 per cent faith and trust in him. And I think he does in me, as well."

On an exceedingly busy day structurally with the organizational framework, Maloney - GM Brad Treliving's long-time mentor in the arid Arizona desert - was elevated from pro scout to the more broad-based, impactful Hockey Ops post.

"The role of the manager is so a big now,'' says Maloney, a man who should know after nine seasons manning the rudder in Arizona.

"It's changed so much. The time commitment is immense. Especially in a Canadian market. That's what's been really enlightening for me. Even not being around the team in Calgary that much last year, just understanding the media demands, the continual communication with ownership, you're a very, very busy guy.

"Twenty years ago, Cliff Fletcher could, for the most part, just concentrate on running the team.

"Now it's really a collective effort. I have experience in pretty much every area of management so hopefully I can chip in here and there. This new position is really touching on all areas of hockey operations.

"It's about having a common mindset, about what you have to do to be successful. We're not unique in that. I mean, it's all around the league. There are a lot of hard-working people trying to win. We're no different.

"But the more good people you have, the better your chances of success.

"Not that we're not going to make our mistakes but I truly believe the harder you work, the luckier you are.

"We had a good year last season, a first step to hopefully where we want to take this team over the next few years, which is the Stanley Cup."

Among the other orders of business Thursday down at the Scotiabank Saddledome: assistant GMs Craig Conroy and Brad Pascall were re-upped; Derek MacKinnon named as Director of Pro Personnel; Rob Sumner and Fred Parker as Assistant Directors of Amateur Scouting working under Tod Button; and Chris Snow moving to Director of Hockey Analysis.

Every bit as vital as assembling a competitive on-ice product is piecing together a cohesive, like-minded decision-making group.

"I really like our group,'' emphasizes Maloney. "Brian (Burke) as the liaison between ownership and the hockey side of things, someone with a wealth of experience to draw on. You've got Craig Conroy, just a tremendous feel for today's player, today's game, how it needs to be played and what we should be looking for in players. Brad Pascall has done a real good in Stockton and in doing a lot of contract work.

"Chris Snow is another important member of the hockey staff with his analytic work.

"Go on and on. Right down the line.

"For me, it's refreshing to be with an organization that is totally focused on winning, has the resources to back that up.

"When I look at what we've got, what's coming and where we're going, this is a very exciting time to be a member of the Calgary Flames' organization.

"I know I'm very happy to be a part of it."

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