Plenty of time remains between now and the trade deadline, but that hasn’t stopped some Western Conference clubs from making swaps this week.
The Nashville Predators added a top-six forward in Mike Fisher, and the Anaheim Ducks bolstered their back end by bringing back Francois Beauchemin.
Considered buyers now based on their three regulation losses in the last 21 games, and their massive rise in the standings, the Flames may not want to mess with their chemistry.
“I like the makeup of our hockey team. It just took time to gel and time to get it all together,” head coach Brent Sutter said Thursday. “Everyone’s doing their part, and that’s the most important.”
That doesn’t mean they don’t notice when others make moves. It was hard not to with the Senators practising at the Corral yesterday and interviews going on just down the hall at the Saddledome.
“That’s a big trade, no question,” Flames captain Jarome Iginla said of the Predators’ acquisition of Fisher. “They didn’t lose anyone off their roster, so there’s no question it should help them.
“From our point of view, we just keep going. We don’t change our focus. There’s a lot of spots that we’ll all be fighting for. We’ll just be concerned with winning our games and how we’ve got a good team in here. We just keep doing what we’re doing.”
Conroy to suit up in alumni game
Craig Conroy will get to play at the Heritage Classic after all.
Not in the main event, but the recently retired Calgary Flames centre is going to suit up in the alumni game against the Montreal Canadiens icons Feb. 19 at McMahon Stadium.
“It’s gonna be fun. I’m looking forward to it,” Conroy said. “I played for Montreal, started my career there. I finished it with Calgary. Even though it’s an alumni game, it’s going to be pretty exciting.”
The invitation came from Jim Peplinski, but at first, Conroy was concerned he would be imposing on a team made up of Cup winners.
After talking it over with some of them, they decided it was all about Flames history, and Conroy is a part of it.
He practised yesterday with some of his fellow alumni.
“At least, I’m not going to get bag-skated after practice,” he joked.
Returning to the ice, though, could stir up his competitive juices.
“I went and played Friday with my buddies. I quadrupled my output for the year,” he said with a laugh. “For sure, I’m going to enjoy it and have fun. But I’ve just got to let it go at some point as a player and move on. I think I’ve done that to some extent.”
Fans now get a chance to say goodbye properly.
“Obviously, I would have loved to play that game in the NHL. Hopefully some fans come out and watch and say hello,” Conroy said, adding he was touched by the response at the Saddledome when he was shown on the Enmax Energy Board suited up in the press box.
“Just the other night, I was pretty happy at the game when they put me on the jumbotron.
“That was more than I expected.”