Brendan Shanahan’s off-season busy work continues.
The Toronto Maple Leafs president made his second front office hire of the summer on Tuesday, adding Brandon Pridham, who Shanahan is well acquainted with from the league’s front office.
Pridham’s title will be “assistant to the general manager” but what his duties will really be are those of team capologist: “salary cap analysis, contract negotiations and collective bargaining agreement interpretation.”
Pridham has a strong reputation around the league. He’s relatively young (40) and has an excellent grasp of the NHL’s tome of a CBA, something he has had to know front to back as senior director of the league’s central registry.
He also served as a senior advisor to NHL Central Scouting, where he began his career in 1999 as a co-ordinator.
One executive with a rival Eastern Conference team called Pridham “a great choice” by the Leafs because of his extensive knowledge of how the cap and CBA functions.
Pridham is one of a few bright minds at the league head office who is credited with helping create the cap system the NHL brought in following the 2004-05 lockout.
Around the league, his hiring is being compared to when the New Jersey Devils added Steve Pellegrini, who had previously been a league vice-president in charge of central registry.
“For fifteen years, Brandon has played an integral role in the central scouting and central registry departments for the NHL,” Leafs GM Dave Nonis said in a statement. “His intimate knowledge of the complexities of the salary cap system and strong relationships around the league will serve our team well.”
“I always looked forward to the opportunity to bring that experience to an NHL club,” Pridham said in a statement. “I’m thrilled with the chance to join Dave Nonis and his team.”
The Leafs could certainly use some help in the capology department. Last season, they finished eighth last in the NHL while also exceeding the cap by more than $500,000 due to performance bonuses.
That amount will now come off the team’s available cap space next season.
Shanahan fired assistant GM Claude Loiselle and vice-president of hockey operations Dave Poulin late last month prior to hiring 28-year-old Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds GM Kyle Dubas as the team’s new assistant GM.