Flames reunite Conroy, Iginla

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:54 PM ET

Taking part in a Make a Wish Foundation activity Thursday, Jarome Iginla couldn’t chat with reporters.

But earlier, he helped make a teammate’s wish come true.

Reunited with Iginla in practice — you knew it was bound to happen eventually — was centre Craig Conroy.

For now, at least.

For the start of Friday’s big game at the Saddledome against their division rival Vancouver Canucks.

“Things change. It might be a game, it might be a period, it might be a shift,” Conroy said with a grin.

“It happens every now and then. It happened last year a few times.”

It once meant guaranteed production from the Flames captain.

In Conroy’s younger days in the Flaming C, before signing elsewhere as the lockout unfolded, he and Iginla were a dynamic duo.

Conroy was the last setup man with any sort of staying power beside his buddy Jarome.

He knows this time around there are no guarantees. But with Olli Jokinen failing to find chemistry with the captain so far, Conroy will slide up from third-line duties along with his new partner in crime Curtis Glencross and see if they can’t awake the sleeping sniper to their right.

“It does make a difference. You know where he is, you know where he likes to go, you know where he wants to get the puck,” Conroy said.

“I always love playing with Iggy, though. For whatever reason, we’ve had a connection all these years.

“Hopefully it works tomorrow.”

Sticking Jokinen between Eric Nystrom and Freddie Sjostrom, head coach Brent Sutter is hoping for more responsible and balanced trios. He reunited the second line of Daymond Langkow, Rene Bourque and Nigel Dawes, and put Dustin Boyd between Brandon Prust and Brian McGrattan.

“Let’s not make too much about Connie and Iggy — we’ve changed up a lot of things here today, over the last couple of days,” Sutter warned. “You guys (the media) see one guy all the time. I’m not like that. I’m about everybody. It’s where we can get the most out of every individual.

“We haven’t had, obviously, players play at the level we wanted them to play at. I made a decision that we’re gonna change it a little bit.”

As for how long they remain intact, Sutter can’t say.

“They’re going to determine that through play,” he said.

“I know there’s some history with some guys. But it doesn’t mean because Craig Conroy’s playing with Jarome Iginla it all of a sudden makes Craig Conroy a powerplay guy. That’s not how it works.

“I’m looking at five-on-five play, and what we need to do five-on-five.

“I want to see better structure in our game.”

Conroy knows he’s still going to be relied upon in the role of checking and killing penalties, even as he does his best to set up the former 50-goal scorer in the offensive zone.

Glencross is an important part of that mix, too.

Battling in the corners and able to keep up with the rush, as well, Glencross’ most critical duty comes on the forecheck.

“He can hit hard, finish checks,” Conroy said. “He’s a great passer, great skater. He does it all.”

Usually first to the puck, Glencross was also first to notice the red jerseys hanging in his and usual partner Conroy’s stall also matched the captain’s colour.

Dion Phaneuf was the first to make a joke about it.

“He’s like, ‘Ohh, the old guys are together again,’” Conroy said with a laugh.

An oldie but a goodie is the hope.

“We actually did pretty good in those couple of games we were together,” Glencross recalled of his few opportunities with Iginla as a linemate over the last 12 months.

“Hopefully we can put out together as a line and stick together for a bit.”


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