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5 takeaways from Jarome Iginla’s appearance on Flames Talk

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Photo credit:Candice Ward/USA Today Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
On Thursday, the Calgary Flames announced that Jarome Iginla has joined the organization as special advisor to general manager Craig Conroy. To commemorate the occasion, he joined Pat Steinberg and Logan Gordon on Sportsnet 960’s Flames Talk on Thursday afternoon.
The whole interview is up on Sportsnet 960’s podcast feed – the full version is nearly a half-hour of Iginla goodness – but here are five key takeaways from the interview.

Yes, he was rooting for Conroy to become GM

Conroy and Iginla have remained close since Iginla left the Flames in 2013, and they talk regularly. And yeah, they’ve chatted in the past about potentially working together in the future. So while Iginla added a disclaimer that it wasn’t about a potential job with the Flames, he was definitely rooting for his friend to become GM.
After Conroy got hired as GM, their chats gradually morphed into discussions about a potential role that could balance his coaching commitments with being a resource for the Flames.

He’s consulted many ex-players who have gone into hockey ops jobs

In addition to discussions with Conroy about what hockey ops roles are like – dating back to when Conroy joined the Flames front office in 2011, Iginla noted that Conroy warned him about how much work it was – Iginla has also consulted with Scott Niedermayer, Justin Williams and Shane Doan about what their roles are like.
If nothing else, Iginla is prepared.

He’s coached (or coached against) a lot of up-and-coming draft talents

This came up during Steinberg’s interview with Craig Conroy a few weeks ago when he was hired as GM, too. Iginla’s coached high-end youth hockey for five seasons already; he coached his own kids as they grew up. His eldest son, Tij, is a 2024 NHL Draft-eligible player. His youngest son, Joe, is a 2026 NHL Draft-eligible player. And since he’s coached those kids in high-end youth hockey in two countries, he’s seen a lot of up-and-coming high-end players from their age groups.
He could be a good resource for the scouting staff.

He’s known Ryan Huska since he was 16

Not only were Flames head coach Ryan Huska and Iginla teammates with the Kamloops Blazers and won two Memorial Cups together in the 1990s, but Iginla actually billeted with Huska for a month during his first year in the WHL. Iginla was 16, Huska was 18, and Iginla had significant, detailed praise for Huska’s work ethic and his ability to be both fun and serious when the situation calls for it.

He’s joining the Flames at the draft in Nashville

Iginla’s role with the Flames, at least for this season, is part-time and much of it will be getting his feet wet and having him get exposed to different aspects of hockey operations. So he’ll be joining the Flames at the NHL Draft in Nashville in two weeks in an effort to show him that process. He’s committed to coaching at Rink Academy in Kelowna for the coming season, and what happens beyond this season will depend on how things go this season (and what Conroy thinks his role should be going forward).

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