Craig Conroy says the Calgary Flames will ‘absolutely’ name a captain before next season

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
10 months ago
The Calgary Flames will “absolutely” name a new team captain before the start of the 2023–24 season, new general manager Craig Conroy confirmed in an interview with Sportsnet 960 radio host Pat Steinberg on Tuesday.
After the Seattle Kraken selected Mark Giordano in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, the Flames went without a captain in both the 2021–22 and 2022–23 seasons.
As Conroy told Steinberg on Tuesday, it didn’t always sit right with him that the club didn’t move to fill the vacancy Giordano left.
“I just struggled with it each year, but obviously that’s a decision that was above me,” Conroy said. “In the end, you need one person to go in and talk to the coach. Really, I think that has to be done. That’s what I’ve always experienced in the NHL and to not have it was weird, to me.”
Conroy added that he will discuss the matter of the captaincy with candidates during his search for a new head coach to replace the departed Darryl Sutter. Either way, the new GM said the Flames will “absolutely” enter the 2023–24 season with a player wearing an extra ‘C’ on the front of his jersey.
The Flames introduced Conroy on Tuesday as the eighth full-time general manager in franchise history. A former Flames captain himself, Conroy played in Calgary from 2001–2004 and again from 2007–2011.
Conroy voluntarily handed the captaincy off to Jarome Iginla before the 2003–04 season, in which the Flames made it all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Iginla, whose name has popped up lately as a potential future addition to the Flames’ front office, served as team captain until he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2013.
Giordano took over the mantle as Flames captain before the 2013–14 season. In 2022–23, the Flames’ on-ice leadership group consisted of four alternate captains: Mikael Backlund, Jonathan Huberdeau, Elias Lindholm, and Chris Tanev.
Backlund, 34, is the Flames’ longest-tenured player, having played with Conroy in Calgary from 2009–2011. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported earlier this week that Backlund has expressed significant interest in being named captain and that his Flames teammates “think he’d be an excellent choice.”
Stay tuned — later this morning, FlamesNation writer Jeff Middleton will list seven potential candidates to succeed Giordano as captain. In the meantime, feel free to sound off in the comments about who you think should assume the role.

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