SUN Hockey Pool

Conroy done as a Flame?

IAN BUSBY and RANDY SPORTAK , QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:17 PM ET

In his perfect world, Craig Conroy would get another contract from the Calgary Flames and finish his NHL career in the city where he went to his only Stanley Cup final.

The decision is in someone else’s hands as the 38-year-old centre enters the off-season as a UFA.

Conroy’s first choice is to remain with the Flames, but he wants to keep playing no matter what.

“For me, I would love to stay in Calgary,” Conroy said Wednesday as the Flames completed garbage-bag day.

“We didn’t make the playoffs, so there will be changes. We don’t know what is in store. I would just love to play.

“One thing is I don’t want to go out not making the playoffs. It was a injury filled season. It wasn’t fun. It was a terrible season for me ... but I know I have a lot more left.

“I will train hard this summer and hopefully somebody gives me a chance, if it’s not the Flames. I will prove that I’m worth it.”

Conroy dealt with several injuries this season that limited him to 63 games this season.

He scored three goals and had 12 assists but was an uncharacteristic minus-6 — a year after leading the Flames with a plus-20.

He was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey.

The Potsdam, N.Y., native can’t imagine that he walked out of Dome Wednesday for the final time as a member of the Flames, but that could be the reality.

“It was tough the last game here especially,” Conroy said. “There are so many fond memories that I hope this isn’t it. I understand it’s a business. This is where I played most of my NHL games and had most of my success. The people have been great.

“We’ll see what happens. To leave ... it’s always hard to leave when you aren’t ready.”

The Flames simply might not have room for Conroy, especially if they want to get younger and faster, which is the common theme for most teams that miss the playoffs.

There are already 10 forwards under contract for next season, and Conroy might have to take a cut on his $1-million salary even if he’s offered a deal.

At this point, Conroy hasn’t talked to his agent or with the Flames about their plans.

“There’s lots of stuff going on here that is much bigger than me,” Conroy said. “They don’t know what is happening here yet. Once they have all the meetings and figure out what is going in terms of Darryl (Sutter, the GM).

“He’s been under the gun a bit lately. Like anything else, the first day everybody wants him gone and now it’s calmed down. Maybe we give him another chance.

“It’s disappointing when you miss the playoffs. We’re all responsible.”


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