Craig Conroy should be the frontrunner for the Calgary Flames general manager opening
7 months ago
Over the course of the next few weeks, Don Maloney, John Bean, and Calgary Flames ownership group will conduct their search to find their eighth full time general manager in franchise history. Maloney promised Flames fans that there will be an extensive search to find the right person for the job.
So far, there are two official internal candidates that we know are going to get a long look at the position. One of those candidates is current assistant GM Craig Conroy. And I think that he is the clear frontrunner for the job.
The Flames are a little dysfunctional right now. Let’s not beat around the bushes. They just missed the playoffs with a roster that was supposed to compete for the Stanley Cup. Players are very upset with the coach and how he goes about his business. Their GM from the last nine seasons rejected them and walked away. The roster is old and expensive. They have seven key players who are set to be UFAs in 2024. They don’t have a deep prospect pool. The list goes on and on.
This is the most dysfunction we have seen in the Flames organization at once in quite some time.
With all that information in mind, who would be best suited to try to fix this conundrum? A brand-new GM who has no knowledge of the situation. Or someone who has worked with the team the last number of years.
Because the state the Flames are in right now, they need someone who knows what has happened and they need someone who can bring stability to this organization. That person is Conroy.
By all accounts, Conroy is respected throughout Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp (CSEC). The fans, players, and CSEC staff members all like Conroy and have respect for him as a player and executive. Getting the Flames out of the situation they are in is going to take someone with outstanding interpersonal skills and someone who can build strong relationships with players, the fan base and employees who work at the Dome.
A person with the personality and attitude like Conroy seems like a good person to try to smooth over the relationship between the players and Sutter. We’ve heard via media reports that multiple players were not happy with how the season went and how it was handled by the head coach. It’s going to take a great leader and someone with a great attitude to help build the bridge between the players and coach to fix that relationship. Conroy seems like the type of person to do that.
Conroy has been in the Flames front office for 12 years. He has seen the highs and lows. He has seen the good decisions and the bad decisions. He understands what has gone wrong, and because of that he might the the best person to try and fix it.
If the Flames hire someone from outside the organization, that person will have to go through the long, arduous process of getting to know the organization, it’s people, and the problems that are going on. That process of getting to know the team could take many months. The Flames wouldn’t run into that issue if they hired Conroy. He knows everyone. He knows how the team operates. He knows what it is like to work for this ownership group. And he could get to work on solving the Flames issues a lot faster than someone from outside the organization.
Credibility in the marketplace
Something that is going to be paramount for the next GM of the Flames to do is build trust between the franchise and the fan base once again. Who better to do that than one of the most beloved figures in modern Flames history?
Conroy has established himself as a credible, trustworthy hockey person in the city of Calgary. He did that as a very good player for 507 regular season games and 45 playoff games. He was one of the integral members of the 2004 Stanley Cup run team. And he has paid his dues and remained loyal to Calgary by working in the front office for the last 12 years.
The fans love Conroy. And I think having such a loved a respected figure running the team could help the Flames build some good will with a fan base that is getting more and more displeased with the direction of the franchise.
Overall, Conroy has paid his dues both as a player and executive. He is a smart hockey person who is loved in the community. He should be in the drivers seat for becoming the next GM.
Do you think Conroy should be the next GM of the Flames? Let us know in the comments section!
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