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NHL Rumors: A new head coach is Craig Conroy’s top priority


Donnie & Dhali: Craig Button when asked what is the Calgary Flames’ top priority for GM Craig Conroy.

** transcription

“I think the first thing is a coach. He’s got to determine who the next coach is because you have potentially, not potentially, you have six players entering the last year of their contracts. And so, the players want to know who the coach is going to be.

We heard what they had to say at the end of the year, about they don’t know if they want to come back.  It ultimately lead to the dismissal of Darryl Sutter.

And so now the new coach not only has to affect change on the ice and positive change and positive results but also a belief in the players that are pending unrestricted free agents that Calgary is a place that they should consider and want to consider.

When you’re talking about really good players, Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, Tyler Toffoli, Chris Tanev. These are really, really good players. Mikael Backlund, who has been a long-time Flame. You got to really create an environment where those players not only believe that they can have a chance to succeed on the ice but that there, it’s a place where everybody can go to work knowing that the job is hard but it’s not taxing on them personally.

Listen, it was a disaster here with Darryl Sutter. A disaster. A disaster. And that’s not me, they all said the same things.

And keep in mind, last year they made the trade for (Jonathan) Huberdeau and (Mackenzie) Weegar. Two really good players. They got to make sure those players can find their way back to the level of success. I mean Weegar showed it in the last couple months. I think Jonathan Huberdeau acknowledged it.

But that’s Craig Conroy’s biggest, that his biggest, biggest goal right now.”



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