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Calgary Flames general manager Craig Conroy discussed Tij Iginla (and a lot more) on After Hours

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Photo credit:@NHLFlames on Twitter
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
Saturday night was the Calgary Flames’ final Hockey Night in Canada appearance of the 2023-24 season. To commemorate the season winding down, Scott Oake and Ryan Leslie had Craig Conroy as their guest on After Hours.
A lot of topics were covered, including the fact that Tij Iginla, son of obscure former NHL player (and current Flames special advisor) Jarome Iginla, is one of the top prospects available for the 2024 NHL Draft.

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Oake had a couple questions that specifically related to how the Flames approach Tij Iginla’s draft candidacy. Here’s how Conroy handled it.
Oake: How hard is it to scout Jarome’s kids, especially Tij, right now?
You know, I think you go in and… for the last 13 years I’ve been doing the draft, so you go in and, Matthew Tkachuk, we were able to get Matthew, but you see guys that you’ve played with, their kids, all the time. What we’ve always said is we just have to put everybody in the right order, put them where they belong, and then when we start to draft we’ll go down the list. And when we pick, whoever’s on that list, we’re going to take the best player.
Oake: So, the sentimental thought around here is that Tij Iginla would be perfect for the Calgary Flames given family bloodlines.
[Chuckles] I haven’t talked to Jarome or Kara or Tij about any of this. We are are getting, and our scouts have been out there working hard all year… It’ll be interesting to see when it comes to the draft how it all plays out. But he’s playing great. And it’s exciting for him. And you’re excited for all the guys you’ve played with, when you see their kids out there, there is something special about each one. And with Tij and Joe, they grew up with us and my kids, so it’s special.
Jarome’s middle child – daughter Jade (a sophomore at Brown University) is older and son Joe (an Edmonton Oil Kings prospect) is younger – Tij has had a superb draft eligible season in Kelowna, posting 47 goals and 84 points over 64 games. Through the first five games of the WHL playoffs, Tij has seven goals and eight points. Primarily playing as a left wing this season, Iginla is rated consistently as a first-round talent in draft rankings; Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis has him ranked 13th in his March rankings.
Conroy also discussed how he approached his first season as GM to open the interview, with Oake quipping “There would have been easier years to become the Flames’ general manager than this one.” Here’s how Conroy described how things went:
You had it in your mind, you’d like to sign some of the guys. You’d like to see where everybody was at, see what their thoughts were, and then you work through it. And you kind of get a feeling if you’re going to be able to sign them or not. And hey, it’s a business. We have a price that we had set in our mind, an amount of terms and dollar figure, and I think they had something, too. And we worked through. And I think the start of the year changed everything a little bit, with the poor start.
Ultimately, after inheriting seven pending 2024 unrestricted free agents, Conroy re-signed Mikael Backlund (and made him the captain) and traded Tyler Toffoli, Nikita Zadorov, Elias Lindholm, Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin. The haul from Conroy’s approach to the season netted the Flames forwards Yegor Sharangovich, Andrei Kuzmenko and Aydar Suniev, defencemen Daniil Miromanov, Nikita Okhotiuk, Artem Grushnikov, Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2024 second-round pick, a conditional 2024 third-round pick, a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick, a 2026 first-round pick, 2026 third-round pick and a conditional 2026 third-round pick.
Conroy discussed a lot of other things during the 20-minute interview, including a lot of remembrances of his initial run-ins with a lot of NHL legends, including Iginla, Patrick Roy and Brett Hull.
The Flames are back in action on Tuesday night when they visit the San Jose Sharks.
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