Connolly new black sheep, Sabres missing Statesmen.

Tim Connolly was supposed to replace the void on this team that former Sabres great and fan favorite Pat Lafontaine.  Lafontaine, who played for the Buffalo Sabres from the New York Islanders in 1991.  His passion and and heart for the game was shown on the final night in the Aud, as he shed tears watching the banners come down in that historic arena, despite having no connection to the teams that put those banners in the rafters. 

Pat Lafontaine was a statesmen.  Not only was he an incredible hockey player, but his reach went farther than that, Lafontaine reached into the stands, and touched the fans of the Buffalo area, not only because of how he played the game, but the reaction to the city – his ability to embrace not only the Buffalo Sabres organization, but as his new “home” city as well.

Connolly had all those things going for him when he came to Buffalo in the 2001-2002 campaign.  The Sabres were still searching for a player for fans to identify with the way they had with Lafontaine.  numerous injuries have prevented Connolly from reaching his true potential, and I have to agree with Sabres beat reporter Paul Hamilton, injuries have made him extremely gun shy, afraid to play the game the way he knows how. 

This inability caused him to be a speck on the roster when it came time for the Sabres to play in the post season this year, and he has drawn the ire of not only the sports fan in Buffalo – but also the media as well, as it appears Connolly’s time in Buffalo is nearing an end. 

The question is however, will the Sabres be able to move the 4.5 million dollar salary on a player who, just can’t cut it anymore in the NHL, or will they be forced to choke down another season of Connolly style hockey (Lord knows they are too cheap to just buy him out and say good riddens – and I don’t say cheap in a bad way, its just not the way they do business). 

The Sabres are still in search of a long term statesmen, and a quality player who will be worth the heart he wears on his sleeve, without getting it broken.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres New York Islanders Pat Lafontaine Tim Connolly

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  • ericruest

    Connolly had a broken foot. How many years have we been complaining about him not playing through injuries. He does it and is predictably ineffective. He couldn’t move. He’s the black sheep because sites like this and radio shows make him so. Complain about him being injured too much or complain about him not playing through them. Not both. Anyone else on this team would have been commended for not using the injury as an excuse. Not TC. No matter what he does he won’t be able to win over the fans; the jury has been back for years. Trade him and see where our offense goes. We’ll have a team that everyone loves to watch lose.

    • Tim Redinger

      Yes, Connolly had a broken foot, but TC shouldn’t have said it didn’t bother his play, because obviously it did.

      Fans in Buffalo aren’t just tired of him not performing because he’s injured and not playing through it.

      Your actually the first person I have heard defend him. Since 2003 when he finished the season with 80 games he played 63, 2, 48, 48, and 73 games through the end of this year. He’s the new black sheep in town because the only reason he will play in Buffalo next year is because they screwed up and gave him a salary that no one will trade for.

      Conolly is constantly broke, has never scored more than 18 goals a season. 8 of his 17 goals this season came on special teams.

      Thanks for reading and the comment, but I have to disagree with you whole heartedly; and wouldn’t mind seeing the Sabres send him to Portland out of training camp.