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Question and Answer with Craig Conroy

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames
It's moving day for Craig Conroy. Again. It seems like moving in the summer has become a regular occurrence for the veteran centre. But this move is one he really doesn't mind. He and his family are moving into a home in Calgary, a city he loves to play hockey in.

Re-acquired by the Flames in January of last season, the 35-year-old Conroy has been working out hard back in his home state of New York, riding the bike, lifting the weights and getting ready for a season which that brings plenty of hope for the Flames.

There's a new coach behind the bench, a number of new faces on the blueline and some new faces up front in the forward ranks.

To Conroy, it all means more depth for a team that was staggered by injuries in the first round playoff series against Detroit last year.

Craig Conroy played in 28 regular season games for the Flames last season, recording 8 goals and 13 assists...He has played in 265 regular season games for the Flames scoring 68 goals and adding 141 assists...Conroy first joined the Flames in 2001 in a trade from St. Louis and was re-acquired from Los Angeles in January 2007.
 "I think as long as we come in here and work hard, with the guys we have and the talent we have, it is going to be a good year. He is going to guide the ship and keep it on track." — Craig Conroy on head coach Mike Keenan
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Conroy took time out from moving into his new Calgary home recently to talk about the upcoming season. Below is the question and answer with the always talkative Conroy.

So what have you been up to this summer?

I have been trying to get organized and be prepared for when the season starts so you don't have any distractions and your focus is all on hockey. Get the kids in school, move in and get organized and not have to worry about anything. That's been my main focus. I've been working out, doing a little golf and a a little boating. The summer seems like it is over.

Anything in particular that you have been concentrating on in the workouts?

A lot of it has been the bike so I have done a lot of sprint work. I like to run still and I have been skating for the last couple of weeks. I know (new coach Mike Keenan) likes the bike so I've been doing more of it. I hate it, but I've been doing more of it.

You have worked with Mike Keenan before, when you were with the St. Louis Blues. Tell us a little bit about the new coach?

I think he has that persona, that Iron Mike thing. And I think he is like that when you lose. But when you are winning and things are going well, then there is no better place. He really treats you well. I remember he flew all the families into Florida one time. We had been playing well and it was a bit of a reward. He is a rewarding type coach. If you play well and you have success he doesn't say much and he lets you go about your business. When the losing is there I think that's where the nickname comes from. But every coach is like that. I think as long as we come in here and work hard, with the guys we have and the talent we have, it is going to be a good year. He is going to guide the ship and keep it on track.

What about the other changes that have been made, acquiring players like Cory Sarich, Adrian Aucoin and Owen Nolan?

I felt bad going into the playoffs last year. Rhett (Warrener) had an injury. Robyn (Regehr) couldn't play. He was dying to get in there. And then you have Dion (Phaneuf) with a shoulder injury. He was in there, playing like a warrior but his shoulder was messed up. He probably shouldn't have been playing. He still went out and hit guys and played tough. Now we have more depth. I've heard nothing but good things about all the new guys and how much fun it is going to be. And that is what is promising. You want to bring in guys that want to be here Obviously they wanted to be here and come here and be part of something special.

With the signing of Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr to long-term contracts this looks like a team that is committed to winning for some time. Would you agree?

When you look at they take care of their own guys. You are not going to find a better young defenceman than Reggie. He is stay at home but he is big and strong and does it all. Iggy is the MVP of the league in my opinion. He is a game-breaker. They probably could have got more money but that says a lot about the city. People want to play in Calgary. For wahtever reason. It is a combination of so many things that make the city fun to play in. I think the way the fans treat you and the way the city embraces the team is fantastic. It's a great place to play and a great organization..

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