The Toronto Maple Leafs hired their second assistant general manager this offseason, bringing on board former NHL senior director of central scouting and central registry Brandon Pridham. The 40-year-old is known as a salary cap expert and will fill the role of “capologist” previously held by Claude Loiselle. Loiselle was fired along with fellow former assistant GM Dave Poulin on July 22, the same day the Leafs hired Kyle Dubas as AGM.
The working relationship of Dubas and Pridham should be an interesting dynamic to watch. Dubas, only 28 years old, brought zero experience of working in an NHL job but loads of analytical knowledge and fresh thinking to the table, while Pridham has tons of experience with the salary cap and other inner workings of the league. Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan also worked for the NHL from 2009 until this April as vice president of hockey and business development and later as director of player safety. Shanahan likely became familiar with Pridham during that time.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports reported the Leafs have hired Darryl Metcalf, Cam Charron and Rob Pettapiece to their front office as part of a new analytics department. This isn’t much of a surprise as this is Dubas’ forte, and he and Shanahan likely both pushed for the creation of this department. It’s a big change from the days when Nonis publicly said he hadn’t used any of his analytics budget. If there’s one thing Shanahan has shown, it’s that he isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo and bring change to an organization that was in dire need of it. Dubas, Pridham, and, if true, the three analytics gurus, are proof of that.