Joe’s a no go as new Flames GM
New Forever a Flames inductee wants to spend time with family
Joe Nieuwendyk will be Forever A Flame.
Just not a Flame general manager. Certainly not now, anyhow.
“I’ve spoken to Burkie (Calgary’s ‘interim’ GM Brian Burke),” said the longtime Flames’ great on Friday. “We talked. I don’t know what direction they’re going to go but I made it clear very early that if I’m not in 110 per cent, then I’m probably not in it.”
The one-time Calgary captain, was announced Friday as the second recipient of the Forever A Flame honor on March 7th. Stanley Cup teammate Al MacInnis was the first.
Always thought to be at the top of Burke’s wish list to fill the leadership void left when Jay Feaster was fired, Nieuwendyk’s name surfaced immediately. Speculation had Nieuwendyk, fourth in all-time franchise scoring with 314 goals and 616 points in 577 games played, was waiting until season’s end before being announced as the new boss. That can now be quashed.
The decision, the stressed, is a life choice.
“I’ve really enjoyed being back with my kids. I know when I was GM in Dallas for four years I thoroughly enjoyed the job but it is always on your mind, not just at the office, at the rink, but at home, too.
“I’ve really enjoyed connecting with my kids. I’m on the ice four times a week with my son.
“I think Burkie understands. And it wouldn’t be fair to him, either. That job requires 110 per cent, not just 100. It takes a lot of time and effort and I’m not prepared to do that right now.”
Nieuwendyk wouldn’t rule out a return to the managerial end of the game down the road.
“Yeah, I think I’d like to,” Nieuwendyk said. “At some point. And I also realize those opportunities don’t come along very often. But I think at some point I’ll probably want to get back into it. I enjoyed being a GM.”
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