(This is the forth post in a series which will evaluate the Sabres organization, one man at a time. Larry’s Quinn’s internal review is the Official Worst Top-To-Bottom Review EVER. I’m conducting my own review, to show Larry how it’s done.)
Name: Tim Connolly
Number of years with the Sabres organization: That depends. In regular, human years, Timmy has been a Sabre for eight year, but in Tim Connolly Years (TCYs) he’s been a Sabre for 24 years. (TCYs = 3 normal human years. Sad, but true.)
Number of years remaining on contract: Again this depends. In human years, two. In TCYs, six.
Cap hit: $4.5 million slaps to Jerry Sullivan’s face.
Career high point: casting a love spell on Darcy Regier.
Career low point: Repeated hits to the head.
Areas of strength: on-ice craftiness, getting people to yell, “SHOOOOOOT” during the power play, gossip production, the uncanny ability to win people over after they have SWORN they will never fall for it again, quilting, hockey vision, managing to be allllllmost a point-per-game player…but never quite, polar bear pelt couture, and forcing bloggers to come up with a ridiculous number of ways to describe his fragility. (“He’s made out of cocktail napkins and pipe cleaners!” “His bones are 90% sponge candy, and 10% angel hair pasta.” “He’s held together with scotch tape and Lindy’s old mustache clippings.”).
Areas of weakness: body
2008-09 grade: B (This is the highest grade possible for someone who only played 48 games.)
General comments: I HATE that Darcy Regier signed Timmy to a two year extension. I LOATHE it. If the Sabres want to stay loyal to Lindy Ruff, then they need to have room under the cap to bring in some new guys. By extending Timmy, Regier severely limited his options (outside of a trade) for bringing in the strong, leader-y, Chris-Drury-a-like of our dreams…..and I don’t care WHAT the lunatics say, Timmy’s contract is NOT movable right now. Not in this economy, not with his injury record, and not with the cap expected to go down. If Timmy gets hurt, no other teams will touch him with a ten-foot pole, and if he stays healthy, we’re going to want to keep him, so, either way, Timmy (and his cap hit) is a Sabre for the next two seasons.
There is a silver lining with Timmy, though. He’s ridiculously good at hockey when he’s not broken. It took me two full seasons of watching Tim Connolly before I understood why everyone is so enamored of him, but I get it now. I do. I honestly can’t imagine what it was like to watch him on fire in the 05-06 playoffs, only to see him be hit right back into Concussionville. That was before my time as a fan, but I feel retroactive empathy for my fellow Sabres fans who had to endure that particular disappointment. When he’s healthy, and in a groove, Tim Connolly is as good at hockey as anyone in the game. He’s smart, aggressive (Tim Connolly is shockingly NOT soft), and he’s truly crafty with the puck.
(Side Story: Remember that game against the Coyotes when Timmy pointed at Sekera from the faceoff dot and was all, “Hey, Sekera. Go stand over there,” and then he proceeded to win the faceoff, sending the puck directly to the place he had just instructed Sekera to stand, and then Sekera shot it in for a goal? …that was super snazzy.)
If Tim Connolly stays healthy, $4.5 million dollars per year will be a steal, but let’s face it….
Timmy is going to get hurt next season, and he’s going to get hurt the season after that. We’re all going to tear our hair out, and we’re going to curse Darcy Regier for re-signing him, and we’re going to accuse Timmy of all manner of laziness/drunkeness/skating-with-his-head-down/insufferable-fragility. Timmy’s going to miss enough time that we’ll actually begin to forget about him, and people will start making the old, “Hey, is Timmy still alive?” jokes, and I’ll start suggesting that the humane thing to do would be to send Timmy out to pasture. And then, just when we’ve almost learned how to live without him, he’ll come back. Timmy’s going to come back, and after a slow start, he’s going to string together a few weeks of dazzling, sparkling production. And for the millionth time, we’re all going to get down on our knees, and pray that he never gets hurt again.
We’re going to BEG the Hockey Gods to keep our Timmy safe, because if only he COULD stay healthy……
Tim Connolly is the Hockey God’s joke on us. He’s a Ferrari with a flat tire. He’s an un-signed check in your name for a million dollars. He’s an Amati viola with only three strings. He’s the super hot guy you found out had a crush on you YEARS after the fact. He’s the leave-in conditioner that makes your hair look amazing, but smells so bad that it makes your eyes water. He is simultaneously our biggest weakness, and strongest hope for success. It’s frustrating, and tragic, and…..please, Hockey Gods….just keep him healthy, TOTALLY HEALTHY, for the next two seasons.
So, we hope for the best, we expect the worst, and as usual, we ask that Tim Connolly get his bones fortified with adamantium. And that someone wrap him in bubble wrap. Of course. Always with the bubble wrap.
REQUIRED SUMMER HOMEWORK:
1. Call Wolverine to find out which doctors in WNY perform the adamantium bone-covering procedure.
2. Get fitted for bubblewrap suit.
3. Shut up and wipe that sneer off your face. It’s the least you can do, Timmy.