Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli dove deep with Calgary Flames GM Craig Conroy at the GM meetings

Photo credit:@NHLFlames on Twitter
Ryan Pike
3 months ago
It’s been a pretty wild 10 months on the job for new Calgary Flames general manager Craig Conroy. First he had to replace an entire coaching staff, then he had to run his first draft as a GM, then he had to deal with the Flames’ oodles of pending unrestricted free agents.
As the dust continues to settle following one of the more tumultuous first years of any GM in recent memory – certainly in Flames history – our pal Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff caught up with Conroy at the recent GM meetings in Florida.
Among the topics covered in the wide-ranging conversation: the possibility of the Flames being a team to watch in the free agent market this summer.
Calgary has roughly $19 million in space heading into the summer, with only $68.8 million committed to the $87.7 million upper limit. Don’t expect the Flames to be wining and dining the big names on the market, but they will certainly be a player in the mid-tier for players willing to sign for the right term.
“If there’s the right length of a contract, if there’s a need that we have, we’ll do that. It’s hard to find certain players,” Conroy said. “Maybe to add a veteran or two would be something nice. We have a good mix. We’re trying to let the young guys play, and that’s still the priority, but if we can find help for two or three years, that’s what we’d be looking for because it’s hard to make trades for certain players and we still want to be competitive.”
Per Cap Friendly, the Flames currently have 17 players on one-way deals for 2024-25: two goaltenders, five defencemen and 10 forwards. But if the idea is to bolster specific parts of the lineup, it’s not hard to imagine the Flames going out and grabbing a veteran or two in key roles.
Conroy also discussed a hot topic in recent weeks and months in Calgary: the future of goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who was a subject of a lot of trade speculation leading up to the trade deadline… but wasn’t moved and has two seasons left on a deal that has a no-move clause included.
So far, Conroy said he has not yet spoken with Markstrom about his comments, but is not worried.
“I think with everything that was going on, I wanted him to have this period until the end of the year where he can decompress and just play hockey,” Conroy said. “Emotions are high at the deadline. I’ve been there. I think all of the outside noise, everything that was going on, it’s tough. It’s stressful on you and you, your family. With him and Chris Tanev, they were such good friends.
“I take everything with a grain of salt. We’ll move forward and move on. Marky, I don’t worry about him at all. Marky is true pro.”
Head over to Daily Faceoff to check out the full, lengthy interview!
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