SUN Hockey Pool

Conroy wasn't 'bout to back down

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

Craig Conroy might want to avoid dropping the gloves in the future.

His first dance partner in the NHL was Jarome Iginla, his foe while Conroy was still a member of the St. Louis Blues in 2000-01.

Iginla went on to crack the 30-goal mark for the first time that season, which ended with Conroy on his team after a trade brought him to the Flames.

Conroy's third fight came Saturday night against Oilers youngster Sam Gagner, who played just five minutes over the first two periods but came through with the tying goal in the third period to threaten upsetting the Flames in their first meeting of the season.

"Maybe I shouldn't have fought him," Conroy said after the contest, his face looking no worse for wear despite the exchange of a few pretty solid jabs. "I'm not known for it, but he wanted to."

Catching everybody off guard as much for the timing as the participants, Conroy and Gagner squared off at centre ice after Nigel Dawes' tip-in goal in the second period.

"He was probably frustrated because he wasn't getting to play a lot. I know what that's like because I've been in that situation," said Conroy, who at 38 is 18 years older than the Oilers' kid.

"I wasn't expecting him to say anything," Conroy added.

"He obviously wanted to do something. He's like, 'Wanna go? Just get this thing going?'

"I thought, 'OK.' "

It seemed to spark Gagner, who started the season on a grinder line with Zach Stortini and Ethan Moreau.

"Mutual agreement," said Gagner. "I don't have anything against him personally, but I was just trying to get involved any way I could."

The fisticuffs seemed to impress Oilers coach Pat Quinn, who didn't shy away from fights as a player.

"That's the best I've seen Sam play since I've been here," Quinn said.


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