Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames GM Candidate Profile: Brandon Pridham

The Calgary Flames’ search for their next general manager is well underway, and interim GM Don Maloney has allegedly cast a very wide net in his search for Brad Treliving’s replacement. Earlier this week, Elliotte Friedman broke the news that the Flames have been exploring asking the Toronto Maple Leafs for permission to interview Assistant General Manager Brandon Pridham. The 48 year-old has been with the team for nearly a decade, helping them turn into one of the top teams in the country (in the regular season). If the Flames could land him, Pridham would be an enormous help to this organization.

Who is Brandon Pridham?

Born in Stouffville, Ontario, Pridham played hockey as a child but did not play competitively through his teens or adulthood after hurting his shoulder in major junior. He went on to study at York University then George Brown College before joining the NHL in a licensing and marketing role. He grew through the ranks of the league’s office, taking on roles in central scouting and the central registry, where he developed a reputation for understanding the ins and outs of the NHL’s salary cap. He also developed a deep understanding of prospect selection, player registration, and more—skills that are especially valuable in the league today.

In 2013, Pridham joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as a special assistant to then GM Lou Lamorello, advising him on the salary cap and how the team can maximize their cap space to develop an incredibly competitive roster. With the flat salary cap, teams need to do whatever they can to maximize the value they get from each dollar that they spend, and Pridham was and is an expert at this.

He then moved up to be an assistant GM on the team, a role he has served in since 2018.

Why would the Flames hire Brandon Pridham?

Salary cap management

In his time, the Leafs have been among the best teams at managing the salary cap. They managed to get Matthew Knies into their roster this year by dressing one goalie less and opting for an emergency backup goalie instead—a move most teams wouldn’t realise as a possibility.

They were also able to build their team nearly exactly to the salary cap, with only $3,000 and change away from hitting the ceiling. That’s incredibly hard to do on a 50-man roster. They have also gotten tremendous value from players on long-term injury reserve (LTIR), and have weaponized the cap to their advantage all season long.

The Flames could learn a thing or two from this. They kept Oliver Kylington on the main roster for months this past season and only moved him over to LTIR when the news broke publicly that they were able to. Not a great look. Between that move, some of this team’s signings and contract moves, and the way that they have utilized open space, having a GM who understands the cap to the degree that Pridham does would be an enormous asset.


Pridham has also spent a ton of time understanding the NHL’s central registry and drafting, another area that the Flames have struggled with in the past. In the last few years, the Leafs have been very good at finding value in the draft. The aforementioned Knies was a second-round pick in 2021, taken after the Flames took William Stromgren that year. They also have Topi Niemela, William Villeneuve, Nick Moldenhauer, Nick Abruzzese, and more in their system developing and looking like NHLers. All of these players were taken in the third round or later.

While the Flames have a number of great picks in the wing, their depth beyond their top players looks middling at best. Jack Beck, Arseni Sergeerv, Parker Bell, and Lucas Ciona look like coin flips, and the rest of their prospects beyond the first rounders and Dustin Wolf look to be long-shots at best. The team could desperately use someone with experience in drafting to say the least.

Hesitations on hiring

The big questions around Pridham are firstly his experience beyond Toronto. He has only ever worked for the league and the Leafs, having a very limited resume doing much else for teams. The Leafs are the wealthiest franchise in the country, and jostle with the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens as the wealthiest teams in the league. Will he be able to adapt his style to work for a mid-tier franchise like the Flames that are far from poor but not nearly as flush as the team out East?

Pridham further does not have experience running a full franchise on his own. Many of the candidates currently being interviewed have worked with Hockey Canada, other NHL clubs, OHL franchises, or others in the GM role. While Pridham has a depth of NHL knowledge as an AGM, it’s a very different role from running the team on his own. Does he have a wide enough skillset to run an entire NHL franchise?

Is Pridham even a possibility?

Finally, and this is the big one, will the Leafs even consider letting him move to another team? The success of the Leafs in the regular season has been through their ability to maximize the cap space they have available. With four elite forwards on their roster, constructing a team around them has been a balancing act masterminded by Pridham and company. Seemingly just a coin-flip away from more playoff success with this group, the team will continue to rely on Pridham to keep running it back until they simply cannot, and losing him would be a huge blow organizationally.

Even if they do let him go, there is no guarantee that he will want to leave Ontario. Pridham has spent decades in and around Toronto, and it will likely be a very tough decision to leave the city. And as much as we can say that this city is the greatest in the world and being one of the 32 NHL GMs is an enormous opportunity, the human element of the game cannot be ignored.

Kyle Dubas spoke about the impact this past season had on him and his family, and the prospect of wanting to put his family through a move to a new city for him to take on this job may be one he is unwilling to do simply for this reason.

Pridham would be a good option for Calgary

It’s really hard to know how the personal and professional sides of the game impact whether Pridham would even want to be the GM of the Flames, but if they are given an opportunity to talk with him, the team should absolutely jump on it. The Flames are a very good team, but having Pridham’s expertise in the room would be an enormous value-add for this organization.

Calgary Flames GM Candidate Profiles

Check out more of our general manager candidate profiles here to get the full run-down on who Calgary’s looking at and why they are good or bad fits with the team:

Craig Conroy | Eric Tulsky | Kyle Dubas | Brad Pascall | Mike Futa | Brandon Pridham | Sean Burke | Marc Bergevin | Mark Hunter

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