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Vice President of Hockey and Business Development Brendan Shanahan, left, laughs with NHL Hockey Operations' Rob Blake as junior-age hockey players test potential rule changes, new strategies, and rink modifications at the NHL's 2011 Research and Development Camp in Toronto Wednesday, August 17, 2011. (Darren Calabrese For The Globe and Mail)
Vice President of Hockey and Business Development Brendan Shanahan, left, laughs with NHL Hockey Operations' Rob Blake as junior-age hockey players test potential rule changes, new strategies, and rink modifications at the NHL's 2011 Research and Development Camp in Toronto Wednesday, August 17, 2011. (Darren Calabrese For The Globe and Mail)

Flames talk to Shanahan; considering major restructuring of team’s front office Add to ...

The Calgary Flames are interested in adding to their front office. Brendan Shanahan appears interested in leaving the NHL’s head office. Could there be a match?

Multiple media outlets have reported that Shanahan was in Calgary on Friday and met with Flames’ owner Murray Edwards and CEO Ken King. While a job offer was not extended to Shanahan, there was a discussion of what his role would be in “a major restructuring of the team’s front office,” according to a source.

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What was outlined was as follows: Ken King would step down as team president and CEO to lead the Flames’ pursuit of a new arena; Shanahan would come aboard as director of hockey operations and would be allowed to hire his own people.

That, essentially, would position Shanahan as Jay Feaster’s boss. The Flames’ general manager is on the hot seat after failing to make the playoffs for four consecutive seasons. Feaster will also be overseeing arguably most important NHL entry draft in franchise history, what with Calgary having three first-round selections. How the team proceeds, through the draft, trades or free-agent signings, will ultimately determine Feaster’s fate.

If Shanahan joins the Flames, he will inherit a front office that already consists of a senior vice-president/assistant GM (Mike Holditch), an assistant GM of player personnel (John Weisbrod), a special assistant to the GM (Craig Conroy) and a director of hockey administration (Mike Burke). The word is Shanahan would be free to retain or replace people, as he saw fit.

One of the NHL’s premier power forwards, Shanahan scored 656 goals in his career and won the Stanley Cup, the Canada Cup, a world championship gold and an Olympic gold medal. In 2009, he joined the NHL as a vice-president of hockey and business development.

He then took over for Colin Campbell as the NHL’s chief of discipline in 2011. His decisions regarding supplementary discipline have tried to curtail hits to the head and the number of concussions in the NHL. Beyond that, Shanahan has never run an NHL franchise nor has he worked in a team’s front office.

He did organize the Shanahan Summit during the 2004-2005 lockout to uncover ways to make the game better.

The Flames are looking to secure a new arena in much the same manner as the Edmonton Oilers secured a new facility. King is expected to lead the charge, which would involve various levels of government funding and potentially a new location, away from the Scotiabank Saddledome.

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