After clearing waivers today, Flames forward and 16-year NHL veteran Craig Conroy is reportedly set to announce his retirement from the NHL tomorrow. According to the Toronto Sun, Conroy is going to speak with his family about whether he should accept a demotion to AHL Abbotsford to keep playing hockey or just hang up his skates and call it a career.
Conroy’s been a healthy scratch for Calgary since the middle of December as he hasn’t played since December 20th. For Conroy, his return to the Flames lineup this season was a surprise as he started off the season on a minor-league tryout and won his way back to the NHL with help from injuries to numerous Flames centers.
Conroy, a native of Potsdam, NY and a graduate from Clarkson University has had a strong career playing in 1,009 games totaling 182 goals and 360 assists over those 16 seasons as a member of the Flames, Kings, Blues, and Canadiens. He blossomed into a depth set-up man as a member of the Flames in the early part of the 2000s and was a strong performer on their Stanley Cup finalist team in 2003-2004.
Always likable and always a hit with the press, Conroy will be remembered as one of the good guys in the game that did well to stick around and be a solid contributor. If this is it for Conroy, fans in Calgary will be sad to see him go as he was always the loyal soldier for the Flames even in his final couple seasons and was instrumental in helping their younger players find their way on the NHL level.