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Pascall ready for first NHL opportunity

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

Having the opportunity to work at the highest levels of the game with the Olympics and the World Juniors is definitely a thrill and an honour but one thing I haven’t been able to win is a Stanley CupBrad Pascall

CALGARY, AB -- As a member of Hockey Canada, Brad Pascall has a trio of Olympic gold medals, five World Junior championships and two Men’s World Championship titles.

But the newly minted Calgary Flames assistant general manager won’t be satisfied until he adds a Stanley Cup to his collection.

“Having the opportunity to work at the highest levels of the game with the Olympics and the World Juniors is definitely a thrill and an honour but one thing I haven’t been able to win is a Stanley Cup,” said Pascall, who will join Craig Conroy under Flames’ general manager Brad Treliving. “To work towards a Stanley Cup and a developing program and work with a hockey club that has those aspirations is something that aligns with my goals.”

Pascall has worked in different capacities with Hockey Canada since 1996 and has been the vice-president of hockey operations/national teams since 2010.

He’s led operations for all of Canada’s national men’s teams in international action, including at the Olympic Winter Games, World Championship, Spengler Cup and Deutschland Cup. He’s also overseen operations on Canadian entries at the World Junior Championship and Under-18 World Championship at various times.

He’s taking that experience to the National Hockey League.

“It’s a little bit surreal,” Pascall said. “It’s exciting. It’s exhilarating. I think it’s everybody’s end goal to work in the best league in the world and that’s the NHL.”

Though he boasts an impressive international resume, Pascall’s hiring serves as his first initiation into the NHL.

That doesn’t concern Treliving.

“Brad’s been around winning and I think winning besets winning,” he said. “I think you need to have a culture. I think you need to have it in your DNA of having success. We want to be about having success.

“When you look at Brad’s history obviously with Hockey Canada, there’s a trail of success. He’s been involved in terms of structurally the ‘Program of Excellence’ in Hockey Canada going up through Under-17, Under-18 programs, World Junior Championship and then obviously you look at marquee events with the Olympics.

“He’s an all-in guy but to have the success that he’s had throughout his career I think is going to be a big asset to us.”

Pascall sees the Flames are the perfect opportunity to get his feet wet.

With a management structure that features Brian Burke as the director of hockey operations, Treliving as GM and Craig Conroy, who was promoted alongside Pascall on Friday, the New Westminster, BC native knows he’ll have plenty of support around him.

“It’s a great situation,” he said. “We have a wealth of knowledge in Brian. Brad and Brian and I go back a long ways of having worked together before. We’ve known each other for a long period of time. It’s a great situation. It’s a great situation with the Calgary Flames.

“I think it’s a great situation to be able to work together as a team with Craig and (senior vice president and assistant general manager of hockey operations) Mike Holditch and Brad, myself and Brian’s a phone call or a text away. It’s fantastic.”

With the Flames’ structure in place, Pascall feels now is the time for him to embark on his NHL career.

“I’ve had a tremendous time at Hockey Canada and have had nothing but great memories there,” he said.

“Working with the Olympic group and World Championship and World Juniors and even in our offices in our group, we’ve worked together as a team as a team management,” he said. “I think that’s what you’re seeing here. We’re going to work well together as a group and formulate a great plan.”

A plan Pascall hopes will one day have him adding to his trophy collection.

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