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THE BOOK ON LAZAR

Flames asst. GM Brad Pascall knows Lazar well - as does the Flames organization now

by AARON VICKERS @aavickers / calgaryflames.com

Few would've been able to compile a book on Curtis Lazar as thick as the Flames.  

Fewer would've known Lazar for as long as Flames assistant general manager Brad Pascall, either.

Pascall, who spent four years as vice-president of hockey operations as part of 18 years with Hockey Canada, has known Calgary's newest acquisition for quite some time now.

 

"One of the things of working with Hockey Canada is working with the best young players and staff," Pascall started. "The hockey world is a small community and with the percentage of Canadians playing in the league you're bound to have some run-ins with players that you had and developed with.

"I had Lazar at the Under-18's, at the Ivan Hlinka when we won the gold medal.

"You remember him always smiling and just having an outstanding work ethic and being a key contributor for our team's success.

"With Hockey Canada, I know they had a real good book on him."

Lazar and Pascall will have plenty of time to build new memories.

The Flames acquired the 22-year-old forward alongside defenceman Mike Kostka from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Jyrki Jokipakka and Calgary's second-round pick in 2017 on Wednesday afternoon.

"He's a top young prospect," Pascall started. "That was my initial reaction. This is a top young prospect.

"He's always smiling. Always smiling. He has a love for representing his country. What I remember is his positive attitude and his smile and his love for the game and soaking it all in, but at the same time working incredibly hard.

"Those are the attributes that I remember."

Lazar, a first-round pick (No. 17) by the Senators in the 2013 NHL Draft, has an extensive international resume that extends beyond Pascall's hiring by the Flames in 2014. He helped Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, and helped captain his country to gold in 2015.

"Before I came here (to the Flames) I know the reports on him were really high, and his leadership qualities and ability to play in big games and leading teams to championships," Pascall said. "I think that's something that's going to continue to follow him around, that international success.

"Anytime you have a winning resume, as he does, that's a positive thing and definitely one of the factors of us doing research on him and knowing him and thinking that he's a key add for our organization."

Pascall certainly has plenty of people to back him up on it.

In addition to Pascall, Lazar as connections to assistant coach Dave Cameron and forward Alex Chiasson with the Senators, head therapist Kent Kobelka at the world juniors, and Todd Gill, an assistant with Stockton of the American Hockey League, at the Ivan Hlinka.

"We always pride ourselves based on his leadership that we do our homework and we know players inside and out," Pascall said. "In this case it was a little bit easier because we had a little bit of a personal book on the player and had some personal experiences.

"We're really excited. He's a tremendous talent and a great person."

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