Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/04/11 at 05:34 PM ET
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added 2:37pm, Conroy named special assistant to the acting general manager.
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Calgary, AB – Craig Conroy and the Calgary Flames Hockey Club announced today the retirement of Conroy from the National Hockey League following a 17 year playing career and his subsequent appointment as Special Assistant to the Acting General Manager.
“I consider myself lucky that my career brought me and my family to the city of Calgary and the Flames organization,” said Conroy. “During our eight seasons here, we established life long friendships. I’m very proud to announce my retirement from playing as a member of the Calgary Flames. I’d like to thank the Flames organization and specifically our ownership group for putting such a strong emphasis on family, community involvement and their commitment to icing a winning hockey team. I leave the ice content and prepared for the next stage of my career in the game.”
Conroy concludes his playing career with a total of 1009 games by his name in the League’s record book; 507 of those games were played in a Flames uniform. On October 28th of this season, he celebrated his 1000 career game in front of the hometown fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome. During his 17 year career, he recorded 542 points including 182 goals while notching another 30 points in 81 playoff games. The Potsdam, NY native started his career with the Montreal Canadiens and also played with St. Louis and Los Angeles. In March 2001 he was acquired by Calgary from St. Louis and quickly became the elite two-way centreman the Flames coveted. During the 2001-02 season, he scored a career high 75 points, helping Jarome Iginla reach the 50 goal plateau for the first time in his career. Conroy continued to produce offensively and was a major contributor in the teams’ 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs run. After signing with Los Angeles during the summer of 2004, Craig triumphantly returned to the Flames on January 30, 2007 and was quickly restored into the hearts of Calgary Flames fans.
“Once in a very long while there are people with personalities and depth of character that are equal to their professional achievements and with his outstanding career, Craig Conroy joins this very select group,” said Flames President & CEO Ken King. “Our team and community have been the benefactors of his immense passion and leadership. While his on-ice accomplishments are well known in Calgary; Craig’s off-ice commitment to his community, co-workers and fellow man is what makes him, not only a special player but also a special person. In his new role, he will continue to contribute to the vitality of our city and to the success of our hockey team.”
As Special Assistant to the Acting General Manager, Conroy will serve as a liaison between the Flames professional players and both the Head Coach and the Acting General Manager. In performing this role, Conroy will prepare performance reports on players and make recommendations for their continued improvement and professional development while also scouting specific players being considered by the club for acquisition. Scouting assignments will include gathering of necessary information on players being considered for acquisition whether via trade or pending free agency. Conroy will make monthly trips to Abbotsford to interact with prospects in the AHL and both watch games and report on their progress and development. He will also serve as a secondary resource and back-up to the Director of Development in mentoring our draftees and keeping track of their progress in order to become fully conversant about the players in the organization.
“First and foremost, I would like to congratulate Craig on a long and successful playing career in the NHL,” said Flames Acting General Manager Jay Feaster. “As he begins the next stage of his hockey career, Craig will be a valuable member of our hockey management team; bringing the same passion and enthusiasm that he displayed every game as a player. I look forward to working with him and I am confident of his contributions to the Flames success.”
Conroy very rapidly became not only a fan favorite, but also a vital part of the Calgary community. Frequently labeled as “the nicest guy in hockey”, Craig has been an integral part of the Flames charitable arm; The Flames Foundation for Life and an ambassador for Flames events and community endeavors. He has been a pivotal member of the Flames franchise for nearly a decade, serving as both a captain and assistant captain for the team. His ongoing presence in the community led to his nominations for both the Bill Masterton and King Clancy NHL awards. As well, Craig was awarded the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award last season and the J.R. McCaig Award for the 2008-09 campaign. Craig has also been a finalist twice for the NHL Selke Trophy, in 1998 while with St. Louis, and again in 2002 as a member of the Flames.
Craig and his wife Jessie have three children; Taylor (13), Sophia (11) and Sydney (6) and will continue to make Calgary their year round home.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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