Craig Conroy worked out as hard as he ever has in the offseason, but he knows he’s got no hope of toppling buddy Jarome Iginla as the Flames fitness king.
Iginla’s won six titles in the last decade and hasn’t lost since Chuck Kobasew got the best of him four years back.
“I beat Jarome in everthing,” Conroy joked after the vets did their fitness testing at the Saddledome to kick off training camp Friday.
“No. I might have beat him in something. There might be one.”
Knowing his spot isn’t safe on the squad, Conroy did put in a lot of offseason work, but Iginla knows it takes more than that to post top scores in a gruelling series of tests ranging from weight-lifting to endurance bike rides.
“He just started working out hard one year,” Iginla said with a laugh. “It takes more. He’s got to build a foundation. At least he’s started.”
Iginla will definitely be near the top again. But No.-1?
Not if Brett Sutter has anything to say about it.
“This year I had two pretty good scores that I don’t know if he’ll get,” the 23-year-old said with a grin. “I saw that he lost a bit of weight, so his score is gonna be boosted a bit. Everyone’s in pretty good shape, so it’s going to be exciting to see what happens.”
What happened last year is Sutter posted an incredible overall score. Iginla did, too, but the two were in different camps with Sutter still considered a rookie.
This year he’s moved up with the veterans.
“I don’t even know who would have won last year,” Sutter said.
Iginla has a feeling he knows.
“Brett Sutter — I think he might have got me last year, but he was on the young guys side,” said the 33-year-old, when asked whether anyone would beat him this time around.
“Now he has enough years pro and enough games, I think he’s gonna take the veteran side, too.
“He’s in really good shape.”
Wanting to make a push for a full-time NHL role, Sutter worked on his explosiveness this summer, skating two or three times a week in June and upping it to five a week in July and August.
“I think some of the testing showed some of the areas I wanted to improve on, I did,” Sutter said.
“Now it’s just a matter of going out there and doing it on the ice.”