When I think of the Calgary Flames now-near-mirage of a Stanley Cup Finals run, I think of a few things. Jarome Iginla making himself a true hockey household name. Miikka Kiprusoff becoming the first Finnish goalie name I’d struggle to spell for years. Mike Commdore sporting a hilarious ginger afro. The speed of Chris Clark. The crazy fans in Calgary’s red mile. Martin Gelinas going from the answer to a Wayne Gretzky Trade trivia question to a man who seemed to always be in the right place at the right time.
I also think of scrappy center Craig Conroy.
The team signed the 38-year-old center to a one-year contract today. Calgary Herald writer Vicki Hall reports that it will be a two-year deal worth the league minimum. Flames blog Matchsticks & Gasoline contextualizes the Conroy re-signing.
With the health of Daymond Langkow still in question and the ability of any of the other three centres currently on the roster to handle tough minutes at even strength on the penalty kill, retaining Conroy certainly makes sense for the Flames, especially at that dollar figure with a versatile contract.
I’m not sure whether or not Conroy makes the team is really a question, I think there’s too much respect there; perhaps he’ll retire if he gets demoted, because I can’t imagine a thirty-nine year old player with a family wants to spend potentially his last season traipsing around the AHL, but who knows, he could prove to be a useful influence on what looks to be a very young Abbotsford team.
While it’s true that Conroy saw a serious drop in production last season (from 48 points in 82 games in 08-09 to only 15 in 63 in 09-10), it’s a very low risk, low money contract. Conroy seems like a pretty versatile, high-character guy, something the Flames might be a little bit short on.