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Numbers game: Leafs hire assistant to GM, analytics team

Aug 19, 2014, 3:40 PM EST

Brendan Shanahan; Tim Leiweke; Dave Nonis AP

Fans in Toronto have been waiting for Brendan Shanahan to leave his footprint on the team since taking over as the president of hockey operations. Today may have been what they’ve been waiting for.

The Leafs announced they’ve hired Brandon Pridham as assistant to GM Dave Nonis. According to the team, Pridham will assist in salary cap analysis, contract negotiations and collective bargaining agreement interpretation for the team.

Being the team’s capologist means Pridham will never have a boring day at work in the Big Smoke and, as James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail shares, his reputation around the league is good one and he helped create the NHL’s salary cap system following the 2004-05 lockout.

The Leafs weren’t done there though.

According to Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy, the Leafs have hired a full analytics department highlighted by Darryl Metcalf (whom you may know best for his work at Extra Skater) as well as former Yahoo! writers Cam Charron and Rob Pettapiece.

All are well known for their work in statistics work, especially Metcalf whose website, extraskater.com, had become a popular visit for those interested in that side of analyzing hockey. Those hires along with the addition of Kyle Dubas as assistant GM have made the Leafs suddenly into one of the most modern-thinking teams in the league.

  1. kingme30 - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    I thought it was New York Rangers Day on PHT…..

    • ibieiniid - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      lmao that’s weird i came to this article to say the same thing. I feel like NYR fans are getting ripped off.

    • Joe Yerdon - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      Just you wait…

  2. withseidelinn - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Have to give credit to them for going all in to fix one of their biggest issues last season.

  3. anthj99 - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    The Leafs have also hired magicians, magicians’ assistants, and second assistants to the executive magicians’ assistants to subtly remove the puck from the other teams sticks and make it look like defense.

    • anthj99 - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Asked to comment on the insane amount of hiring in the front, rear, side, and basement offices, Shanahan said, “we’ll hire anybody to disguise the fact that we can’t ice a decent hockey team”.

    • beergold - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      The Dooman will be coming out of his basement pretty soon in his Leaf jammies to give you two a tongue licking…sorry lashing…….for your digs at his beloved Laffs!

      PS: Both are bang on!

  4. bsaures - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    They are finally going to make a advance stat for trucculance?

  5. leepetertk - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    When Burkie was the GM, he has an army of assistant GMs all with (what we would consider now…) traditional hockey knowledge. Since Shanahan has been brought on, he revamped management to include analytics and capology. An interesting shift from the old regime to the new one, albeit with Nonis still as the GM.

  6. jernster21 - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    Their enthusiasm for paying people who don’t play hockey in the NHL is impressive. Too bad the players still have to go out on the ice and actually play the game and in that regard, not much is going to change.

  7. elrock7 - Aug 19, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Glad to see that the jealous Leaf haters just cant stay away from anything Leaf….interesting

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Hey, lifelong Leafs idiot here. When you set an NHL record by avoiding the Finals for more than 45 years, and of late mostly avoid the playoffs altogether, you do set yourself up for a certain amount of ribbing.

      • beergold - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        Phil Kessel, the hard nosed, hard checking leader of the Leafs has promised there will be no collapse again this season…..everyone should be reassured by that comment!

  8. avscup - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    In the end it all boils down to scoring and stopping scoring. That has to get done on the ice by players. Good luck with all the non hockey playing personnel. You may be able to finally figure out why the team sucks!

  9. blomfeld - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    KEEP CRUNCHING THOSE NUMBERS YOU LOSERS …

    WHILE WE SC CHAMPION LA KINGS KEEP CRUNCHING YOUR STUPID HEADS !!!

    As an intelligent, sexy and ‘values driven’ fan of the planet’s greatest professional ice hockey team, these stories about ‘analytics’ and such are just music to my ears ! Go ahead Toronto and hire ’50′ more corn-twisters to handle your books, because in the end it won’t amount to squat. The bottom line is that a bird can fly from BC to Mexico and find his nest from the previous year, completely ‘free’ of GPS or any other sort of techno gadgetry. And the same applies to NHL hockey, where greatness is defined and achieved by ‘timeless’ notions such as skill, conviction, courage, aplomb and providence.

    HEY TORONTO … ANALYZE ‘THIS’ YOU LOSERS !!!

    • bsaures - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      They have come a long way from a organization too stupid to know what a illegal curve was

  10. Hard to BeLeaf - Aug 25, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    Whatever works. You can only spend so much on players and the Leafs sure aren’t going to lower ticket prices. So they might as well spend it on something. Clone a few Mark Messiers if you have to. Just start winning some games.

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