Darryl Sutter and Jay Feaster were looking over the roster of the Calgary Flames and came to one singular conclusion: The Flames are much too young.
They leapt into action immediately to rectify the problem. Taking a quick look at the remaining available free agents, their eyes fell immediately on the old Flame warhorse Craig Conroy. A quick call to his agent and the deal was done. The Flames signed Craig Conroy, and pushed the average age of the roster into the 30's.
But we have some questions and comments about this contract. Obviously, we are concerned about Conroy's age. Not as concerned as we would be with the proposition of actually having to play Ryan Stone or Brett Sutter in NHL games, but concerned nonetheless.
Secondly, we are concerned with the monetary value and term of the contract. One year, two-way deal, with no NTC or NMC, at the league minimum. Clearly Darryl did not negotiate this contract. We bet he didn't even approve this contract. Can you imagine putting a contract like this before Darryl as he slumps at his desk? He would spit on you! Darryl Sutter doesn't do one year contracts, he doesn't do two way deals, and he most certainly doesn't sign his name on a pact unless it has some sort of trade protection for the player involved. And look at the contracts value. Does Darryl Sutter sign half a million dollar players to half a million dollar contracts? Fuck no, he signs them to million dollar pacts.
Someone has done something with Sutter. Let's all hope to god that Feaster hasn't eaten him.
And wait just one moment. A two way deal for Craig Conroy? Captain Craig Conroy? People, the guy isn't broke. He isn't playing the game of hockey at the age of 38 with that wife of his at home for the league minimum because he needs to raise funds to save his Grandma's house from foreclosure. He is playing because he loves the game, as hackney as that comes off. You are telling me the Flames are making this guy, who is doing them a favour by playing for them at this salary, sign a two way deal?
Why? For optics? So it doesn't look like you are handing him a spot on the team, that there is competition for roster places? Because that is complete bullshit, and we all know it. Ryan Stone and Brett Sutter don't win faceoffs. They don't have the experience, and dare we say it, the veteran-ness to really thrive in the roll of defensive forward. And not to belabour the point, but they don't win faceoffs. Did we mention that Conroy can win a faceoff?
And sticking with the optics, what the hell are the optics going to be when, because the Flames have the luxury of sending him down because of the two way contract, and because the team never chooses a player of consequence to send a message with, the team isn't playing well because of a lack of talent, and the Flames send Craig down for some energy player? The media will shriek and holler when they lose their best friend. It'll be another gaffe for a team that is getting quite good at making them.
It should have been an one way deal. It's disrespectful that it isn't, if only because we all know he is a lock to make the team. If it was really an open competition for that roster spot, it would be one thing to award him a two way contract.
As to whether this makes the team better or worse, we think it makes it better. If you believe the cat, Craig said he was hurt last year and that's why his numbers were down. If he is back healthy, his numbers should improve. Of course, we aren't sure what exactly was injured on Conroy, besides him coming down with a case of 'the oldness' at the start of the season.
And finally, when looking over the available old free agents, how did Sutter finally make the heart wrenching choice (for him) between signing Craig Conroy or Owen Nolan? He possess solomonic wisdom.
COMPLETELY FAKE REACTIONS TO THE CONROY SIGNING
"Well, umm, gee golly guys. I was so shy around Mrs. Conroy last year that I didn't even get a chance to say hello to her. So, ummm, now that Dion isn't here, I think I'm going to say hello to her this year. My mom told be I should give her some flowers." - Jay Bouwmeester.
God, is that tool boring or what, Domebeer aholics?