33-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Tim Connolly Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $9.5 million deal with the Leafs in July of 2011.
Connolly will join the AHL's Toronto Marlies after clearing waivers Friday, sportsnet.ca reports.
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Tim Connolly: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Tim Connolly.
Yawn -- this guy is just so underwhelming. Connolly has so much talent and absolutely uncanny vision, vision that unfortunately has been affected by a few ringing bells. But he's been cursed by injuries and at 31, he's nothing more than a third-line, penalty-killing center who's hoping he can tally 40 points. You can do better.
Take away all the injuries over the years and Connolly might be among the top-10 pivots in the entire league. But he hasn’t played a full season since the lockout, missing a whopping 190 games in the six years since. And fans and critics have been quick to point out that he’s never really lived up to his lofty draft status (fifth overall, 1999). But his talent is undeniable -- his vision and play-making really are among the league’s best when he’s healthy -- and he can orchestrate a power play with creativity and flair. We think he’ll thrive in a new atmosphere and between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. It may be too much to ask for him to play a full season. But low-60s production in 70 games or so are fine with us.
Connolly's 2009-10 will unfortunately be remembered for his disappearing act in Buffalo's first-round playoff loss to Boston. Connolly had a tremendous regular season for the Sabres, setting up 48 goals and putting 17 pucks in the net himself. Most importantly, the playmaking center stayed healthy, appearing in 73 games for Buffalo, more appearances than he has had in any season since 2002-03. If he can remain on the ice, Connolly should at the very least be expected to post another 65-point season.
It was yet another injury-plagued season for the 1999 first-round draft pick, who missed 34 games early last season due to broken bones in his back and ribs. Although he has seen limited playing time due to injuries over the past few seasons, Connolly has still managed to put up big numbers for the Sabres. In just 48 games last season, Connolly was fourth on the team in scoring with 47 points. At a still youthful 28 years old, Connolly could have a huge impact on Buffalo's offense if he can stay healthy.
For the second straight season, the Sabres are essentially considering Connolly as their biggest offseason scoring “acquisition.” He missed virtually the entire 2006-07 season because of post-concussion syndrome and rebounded nicely in 2007-08, at least when he was healthy. Connolly totaled 40 points (7G, 33A) in his first 44 games last year, but he only played in four more contests the rest of the way because of hip surgery. He has a bad injury history (multiple concussions plus the hip problem have cost him 133 games over the past three seasons), yet Connolly is intriguing because he is only 27 years old and one of the NHL’s best passers. He has shown the ability to be a point-per-game player, but how many games will he be able to play?
The Sabres were quiet in the free agent market in part because they consider Connolly to be their biggest offseason “acquisition.” He enters 2007-08 with a clean bill of health after missing Buffalo’s first 80 regular season games last year with post-concussion syndrome. Connolly looked increasingly smooth during the playoffs, finishing with nine points (all assists) in 16 contests. Injuries are a legitimate concern (a separate concussion cost him the entire 2003-04 season and he hasn’t played more than 63 games in a season since 2002-03), but he is expected to center Buffalo’s top line and is a strong buy-low candidate.
Connolly actually “rose” last season, but this is your reminder that he’s here to stay and bigger things could be in store. After years of disappointment, part of it because his mental game was off and part because he couldn’t stay healthy, Connolly put up a career high 55 points in 63 games with seven power play goals. What really has us hopeful, however, was Connolly’s play during the first eight games of the playoffs, before he suffered another head injury. He was Buffalo’s best forward, with 11 points in just over seven games, but more importantly skated like the player Ruff’s been expecting for years. Connolly will always have a bit of frailty risk when you pick him (he’s expected to be 100 percent by now), but we think when healthy he could be a point-a-game player in 2006-07. He may be the best third line center in hockey. Update: Connolly's concussion is still lingering, so watch his health as the regular season draws near, as he's supposed to miss the first part of training camp.
The 24-year-old Connolly's rising star has fallen fast ever since being acquired by the Sabres from the Islanders. Connolly, a talented puckhandler, was supposed to start hitting his stride in 2002-03, but instead regressed to a mere 25 points, a 20-point drop-off from the previous season. Then he missed the entire 2003-04 season with a nasty concussion. With Chris Drury, Daniel Briere and others ahead of him at center, Connolly will have to earn his playing time. You'll want to avoid him until he shows signs of life, something tha grows dimmer with each passing year. At least he's healthy again, after almost two years off from NHL play for him.
The 23-year-old Connolly's rising star has fallen fast ever since being acquired by the Sabres from the Islanders. Connolly, a talented puckhandler, was supposed to start hitting his stride in 2002-03, but instead regressed to a mere 25 points, a 20-point drop-off from the previous season. Then he missed the entire 2003-04 season with a nasty concussion. With Chris Drury, Daniel Briere and others ahead of him at center, Connolly will have to earn his playing time. You'll want to avoid him until he shows signs of life, something tha grows dimmer with each passing year.