Finding a new head coach for the Calgary Flames is right at the top of Craig Conroy’s to-do list.
The 51-year-old admitted just that on Tuesday at his introductory press conference as the organization’s new general manager. The question now becomes who that will be, as there certainly isn’t a lack of candidates to choose from.
In his latest 32 Thoughts column, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, to no surprise, said that a number of internal options, including Mitch Love and Ryan Huska, are being considered. External candidates include Andrew Brunette and Gerard Gallant, who Jonathan Huberdeau had success playing for in Florida, as well as former Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green.
Then there are two former Flames players: Marc Savard and Alex Tanguay.
Several of those names have been discussed in recent days and weeks, but Savard’s is a new addition. The 45-year-old played parts of four seasons with the Flames from 1999 to 2002, some of which was spent with Conroy. He finished his NHL career with 706 points in 807 games and currently serves as the head coach of the Windsor Spitfires.
Tanguay, 43, also played with both Iginla and Conroy for some time in Calgary. He finished his playing career with 863 points in 1088 games and has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings. Prior to that, he served as an assistant with the Iowa Wild of the AHL for two seasons.
Conroy talked about adding young players to the team on Tuesday, and perhaps he’ll go young with his head coach also. Both Savard and Tanguay would qualify as fresh faces to the NHL coaching fraternity.
“There is going to be a chance,” Conroy said of adding young players to the lineup. “I think the guys felt like that’s all they’ve ever wanted, is to know that there are some chances. I think in years past as we’ve gotten close to training camp we’ve filled up roster spots with veteran players. I think my goal is to let these guys battle it out and fight for it and see if they can do it.”
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