Calgary Sun: Rob Wong talking with Wes Gilbertson and Danny Austin on what are the biggest priorities for Craig Conroy and the Calgary Flames this offseason.

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Wong: “So of course, Rome was not built in a day Wes, but Craig Conroy did move out the majority of his pending UFAs in trades during the season. So there’s a little less work to do on that and, but when you look at the offseason to-do lists, what do you think his biggest priorities are?”

Gilbertson: “Well, the most obvious one and just to determine the future for starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom. Are you going to keep him? Are you going to make them available on the trade market? Does he want to be back? You know that that’s a question that I’m sure was discussed in his exit interview. Something he understandably wasn’t willing to rehash in, in the media.

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So you know, Markstrom’s future is number one, Oliver Kylington is the big name on a fairly short list of UFA’s. And then, you know, sort of beyond those two obvious ones.

I think the offseason priority for the Flames is just to kind of stay the course on this, you know, they finally went down this path that they’re going to go younger. That they’re going to retool or rebuild or whatever you want to call it.

I think one of the priorities, at least the way I see it for Craig Conroy is, you know, don’t, don’t veer off that right away. You know, don’t get tempted by a free agent who really likes how much cap space you have available. Just stick with the plan here.”

Austin: “Yeah, so I would say before I say mine, Wes’s are also mine. I like agree with everything he said. So those are the priorities. I’m not trying to make a counter argument here.

But like I will say that I think a little peace and quiet would go a long way around Calgary and around the Scotiabank Saddledome. You know, maybe it’s been since 2022, but I think you can go further back with Mark Giordano and the Expansion Draft and, and everything that happened there. It’s just sort of felt like there’s been a long exodus of players but also just one thing after another. This team had gone through a lot of coaches.

I just think the stability is, is going to be nice and I think it is very important to go along with that stability that you do not have your 2025 UFAs unsigned. You don’t want these same questions lingering over the team and the organization. It takes its toll. It was not easy on the player or the coaching staff or frankly the media to always have these things going.

But I do just think that Craig Conroy, what he’s done is he moved the guys he had to move. But we don’t, we haven’t totally seen what he wants to build and what he wants to do. He had his hand forced. Now we get to see him put his imprint on this team. I think he’s done a terrific job so far.

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But maybe just no, no drama as Mary J. Blige used to say, leave it at the door. That’s all that, that I think would be really good for this organization right now.”

Wong: “Yeah, good point there. It’s been quite a rocky last little while for the Flames. We’ll see what the offseason brings.”


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