Flames AGM Conroy on Gaudreau extension: “We’re going to get that done”
Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Gould1 year ago
Calgary Flames assistant general manager Craig Conroy appeared on Wednesday’s edition of Boomer in the Morning on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
The talkative Selke Trophy-winning forward-turned-talkative hockey executive chatted with Boomer, Rhett Warrener, and Ryan Pinder about a variety of hockey-related topics, most notably the future of the Flames’ current leading scorer.
@Johnny Gaudreau has 20 goals and 64 points in just 49 games with the Flames this season. He’s also set to become an unrestricted free agent this off-season if he isn’t signed to a contract extension.
The Flames signed Gaudreau — who’s represented by Lewis Gross — to a six-year, $6.75 million-AAV contract back in 2016 that will expire this coming July. To hear Conroy say it, Flames fans need not worry about Gaudreau possibly leaving Calgary in free agency.
Here’s a transcript of some of Conroy’s answers during his segment with Boomer, Pinder, and Warrener on Wednesday morning. The whole interview can be found on Apple Podcasts at this link.
On what Johnny Gaudreau’s future might hold:
That’s a done deal. We’re gonna get that done. We’ll get that done. It’ll just take a — I don’t know when, I gotta talk to Lewis [laughs]. […]Snowy and Tre [Flames assistant GM Chris Snow and GM Brad Treliving] will be banging away at it, I think, with Lewis.
On whether he thinks the Flames would have been able to acquire Tyler Toffoli from Montreal if Marc Bergevin — who signed the winger to his four-year, $17 million contract in 2020 — was still general manager of the Canadiens:
I don’t think so. I think he probably doesn’t make the deal. You know, he’s going to have more patience with guys that he’s brought in. You know, I think when you’re not tied to those guys and you want to make some changes, it’s easier for a new guy to come in and trade maybe even picks or whatever — it’s just easier because you’re not invested, you didn’t make the deal. And I do think we had a harder time making deals with [Bergevin] in the past. Like, we had stuff done before, and it just never worked.So, I do think that he would’ve kept him. He would’ve said, “hey, wait ’till our goalie’s back.” You know, he might’ve been in that mindset because he saw what happened the year before [when Montreal made the 2021 Stanley Cup Final) and he’s invested with those guys. […]For us, to be able to get a player like Toffoli, and to get him early — that’s what I love, that we finally did an early deal. I never loved the trade deadline, it just doesn’t give you enough time to get in with the team, feel comfortable, and get going.
On how the addition of Toffoli has afforded the Flames more flexibility at forward:
Seeing him go to the top power play was definitely something I thought might happen — or one of the power plays. It was weird when the first day he didn’t, but he did play back-to-back, Darryl said, and he flew, got in late, you know, so he was going to ease him in. […]I didn’t get to see all the games, the last two, so it’s hard for me to say, but yeah, I kind of see him on the power play and, you know, in that position. And if there, knock on wood, there’s an injury, he’s a guy that can bump up in a heartbeat and play even higher in the lineup. But he can play anywhere, and that’s what Darryl likes, his versatility. He can do everything. […]I talked to him the first time — it’s amazing, he’s like, “you wouldn’t believe it, my phone’s just blowing up from guys in Calgary.” He goes, like, “I feel like I’ve played with the whole team.” So that comfort level for him, because he still said, “hey, it was a shock,” you know? They really liked Montreal. […]I said, “well, it’s almost like going back to a team like you’ve already played for,” and he goes, “yeah, but I almost feel like it’s more guys on this team than the other teams that I’ve played with, prior.” I think that’s a comfort level too, and then with having [Milan Lucic] come and pick him up and his family, I think that’s — it just makes the transition that much smoother and we have him for longer.
On the Flames’ priorities heading toward next month’s trade deadline:
For sure, we’d like to add some more depth, I mean, at the blue line. Norris Trophy? Yeah, that’d be — I mean. [laughs]You always would want to add that, but … I mean, I think the reality is more depth. Depending upon what a team wants, you know, we have a couple seconds, we have some young guys. We definitely feel like this is a team that’s proven to us that, hey, you know what, we helped with the Toffoli, we believe we helped with Toffoli, show ’em, hey, we’re gonna make moves and if we can continue to do it, I think we will. I mean, it just depends what the prices are and if the cap situation can work, too.
On Juuso Valimaki’s performance with the Stockton Heat:
You know what? Just looking at the reports from the coaches, he’s playing a ton down there, he’s getting some confidence back. You know, Rhett, that’s what he needs, he needs to go down and play and feel good about his game. And the team down there, I mean, I think, well, the last I looked we were first in points percentage in the American league. So, they’re doing great. I mean, the guys are flying down there which makes it fun. Even though they’re probably thinking, when you’re down there, hey, you wanna get a call-up. Everybody wants to get a call-up, playing as well as they are [RHETT: Fat chance, right now…] they’re praying not to get hurt. Yeah, there’s no chance to get called up, but they’re pretty — you know, you talk to the guys and they’re in good spirits. They’re happy with the team, they’re excited down there, too. We’re excited up here, they’re excited, so it’s just a matter of — with Valimaki, he’s just gotta get that confidence back, his swagger, and feel good about himself. Whenever you go through an ACL injury, it takes time and I think it’s hard just to do that in the NHL, come back and play in the NHL. Especially with the way Darryl wants to play and what he expects. If you don’t play many minutes, it’s better to go down there: power play, penalty kill, and even strength, and get all your confidence back.
On the potential for Connor Mackey to slide into the Flames’ lineup if the opportunity presented itself:
We followed Connor forever. He’s playing great for us. So, do I feel like he could come up and give us that? 100 percent. You know? Him and Valimaki and with [Michael] Stone here, I think we have depth, but I think when Brad, you know, when we go into these situations, Brad’s always looking for more depth. So, I think that’s one of the things. But, with that said, I would have 100 percent confidence in Connor Mackey. 100 percent. No doubt in my mind. But I know Connor — [laughs] — better than everyone else. I feel like that, I feel like he’s my guy. But I would have no issue, if he got called up tomorrow, no issue, he would be seamless, in my mind, if we had an injury, if we needed him. 100 percent would be fine with that. So yeah, if we didn’t do anything on the back-end, I’m still very comfortable with the guys we have.
The Flames will return to action on the road on Thursday evening when they take on the Vancouver Canucks at 8:00 p.m. MT.
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