Craig Conroy signing is actually very interesting on so many levels. The cap level, the number of roster spots level, his performance level. Very interesting. What isn't interesting is that it's Craig Conroy, a 4th line center, it's the ramifications that we all enjoy. I haven't heard if this is two way or not which would be really interesting to know.
Cap Level: This signing, league minimum, will put the Flames at roughly 4 million plus over the cap if you count Backlund on the roster. We are now out of Kotalik to the minors for relief range and rubbing up against the amount of space you're allowed over in the off season. By making this signing are the Flames saying, "hey we have a plan in place, don't worry about it."? Or are they making huge mistake after huge mistake? to clear the amount they need off the cap just to get within the rules is one thing but they also require room for injuries and call ups, literally 5-6 million in cuts before the season starts. Staios and Kotalik to the minors does help that space but it hurts the organization from a free agent stand point in how they treat their players and the owners do not love to play AHL players 3 million dollars. We have two months to find what out what the cap plan will be.
Roster Level: Hearing how young guys are going to compete for jobs this camp seems to be out the window, it's a little frustrating because I personally believe there's some players that need to get a chance soon and now that looks unlikely with Jokinen, Langkow, Stajan and now Conroy being the most experienced centers. Should Langkow not be able to start the season then Backlund will be on the team but guys like Stone, Sutter and Mcmillon may all be competing for the one spot left on the roster.
Performance: Last year was atrocious for Conroy, three goals, being called out by Theo Fleury for poor play and not even getting his steady plus numbers, he finished minus six. Having said that Conroy is one season removed from getting close to 50 points and being plus 20. So has age caught up to Conroy or can he regain the form he had fairly recently? If the Flames just signed a 50 point 4th line center then awesome if they just signed a 3 goal fossil then let a young guy in.
Just don't put him on the top line like they do EVERY season!!!