It is official. Craig Conroy is now a member of the Calgary Flames alumni. His first event as an alumnus is guaranteed to be an exciting one.
The Calgary Flames officially announced Thursday that Conroy will join the alumni roster for the outdoor alumni game taking place on February 19th, 2011.
"It's going to be fun," said Conroy. "I'm looking forward to it. At first Pep [Jim Peplinski] asked me if I'd like to play. I went back and forth but then I saw Lanny [McDonald] downstairs and talked to Joel [Otto] after one of the practices and he said “come out and play” so I went in and saw Ken [King] yesterday and said, “what do you think, do you mind if I play?” Ken said sure so I told them to put it out there that I'm going to go."
This will be a special game for Conroy, having played for both the Montreal Canadiens and the Calgary Flames at very different times in his career.
"I played for Montreal and started my career there and then finished it in Calgary. So even though it's an alumni game, it's going to be pretty exciting.
"It's a great group of guys so I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to be working hard out there. We gotta beat those Canadiens!" he grinned.
Although Conroy will be one of the youngest players on the Flames roster, he still has a few connections of his own out there.
"I have a lot of people that I played with on the other team too. When I went through the roster today, it's funny because Rejean Houle, I played with his son JF with Clarkson University. We played on the same line. I never got to play against his Dad, but now I will."
Conroy is hot off the players bench so he should be one of the best conditioned players on the ice, without a doubt.
"I've been coming in and working out every morning. I want to make sure I'm still in shape.
"I'm waiting to see the pace. I'm going to come out and practice today. At least I'm not going to get bag-skated after the practice, that's the one nice thing," Conroy joked.
Conroy was definitely looking forward to the opportunity to play in the Heritage Classic game as an NHL player, but will take the next best thing and says he's going to have fun with it.
"I was looking forward to it as it was something that I have never done," Conroy said on playing in the outdoor game. "I obviously would have loved to play in the game in the NHL, but it didn't work out. But to still be able to go out there and experience it is great. Hopefully some fans will come out to watch and say hello because that's really what it's all about."
The fans will be more than excited to have one last chance to watch Conroy in his fine form and wave their goodbyes from the stands, the way they wanted to.
"Just the other night I was pretty happy at the game when they put me on the jumbotron and I got a standing ovation. That was more than I expected, but I really did appreciate it. I didn't get a chance to thank them, but I'm thanking them now."