As Craig Conroy makes his announcement, my heart breaks a little, as there is no classier guy in the NHL this past season. He is one of the good guys in the NHL. Connie will always be remembered for his class.
I have two special memories about Connie which I would like to mention in honour of Craig. This will probably be one of the hardest blogs I have done, because I am going to miss Craig.
One of my fondest memories of Craig was during the 2004 cup run. A fan who was heading down to S.J called the Fan 960 wanting to know how he could get tickets for the Flames/Sharks playoff game. Well, Craig called the radio station and told them that he would have the tickets for the fan, if he made it in time for the game that night.
Although Connie will be best known as a Flame, his best year was with the Kings in 05-06, when he had 78 points. But I have to mention the 01-02 season he had with the Flames when he had 27 goals and 48 assists. You see, that was the same year that that his linemate Iggy ripped 52 goals and 96 points. It was no fluke that Connie had 48 assists , as he made the perfect center for Iggy that year. He will always be remembered for being one of Iggy’s best linemates. 52 goals was the most in Iggy’s career.
Connie was one of the reasons the Flames made the playoff run in 2004. He will always be remembered for the way he and Iggy worked together. One memory I have was the first goal in game 7, when Connie sent Iggy on a breakaway to open the scoring.
The next memory I want to share was when Connie was traded from the Kings back to the Flames. The Flames' next game was against the Kings. The Dome that night was electric, and every time Connie touched the puck, the fans were going nuts. That night, Connie scored two goals, and I remember he was almost in tears when the fans gave him a standing o.
The biggest memories I will have with Connie are the times my son and I met him. He always took time out with my son when Doug wanted him to sign his card. Connie would sit and talk to him and joke with him, asking “what do you want me to sign now?” He was always willing to take time out to be with his fans. I will always remember him as the fan's player.
He loves this game, and loves the fans. He will always be remembered as the fan favorite here in Calgary. I really do not know anyone who would have a bad thing to say about him.
I have to mention one more memory of Connie. As we went to a practice in another arena, as the Dome was booked for another event, the players came on and were shooting the puck around. Connie came out and was about to shoot the puck into the net, when he looked up and noticed my son. He wound up and blasted the puck way wide and hit the glass right in front of him. It scared the crap out of my son, and of course Connie was laughing and having a good old time at his expense. I, for one, will never forget Connie's smile and the way he played. He loved the game and played like he did.
I wish Connie all the best as he enters into his new career with the Flames. Let me see if I get this right: Special Assistant to the Acting General Manager. Connie will be involved with all the Flames management. I think he will make a great assistant coach.