Buffalo Sabres Insider App Twitter Facebook

Lexus

Connolly Masterton Nominee

Tuesday, 04.11.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
Buffalo Sabres
X
Share with your Friends


Connolly Masterton Nominee
The Buffalo chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association announced today that forward Tim Connolly has been named as the team’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

He missed the duration of 2003-04 because concussion symptoms prevented him from little more than crossword puzzles and walks around the mall. A knee injury ended his lockout season after 16 games in Europe. And when he arrived at training camp seven months ago he was an underdog to stay in the NHL.

Tim Connolly responded with the best season of his career and played a crucial role in the Buffalo Sabres becoming one of the most pleasant surprised of 2005-06. For such a remarkable comeback, the Buffalo chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has named Connolly its nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to "the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities or perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

The 24-year-old playmaking center from Syracuse, N.Y., earned the nomination in one of the most lopsided Masterton votes in Buffalo chapter history. With four games left in the season, he already had attained his best seasonal numbers with 15 goals and 36 assists despite missing 19 games with knee injuries. When he was injured Jan. 24, he was leading the team in assists and points and was among the league leaders in blocked shots by a forward.

Connolly faced adversity from the time he came to Buffalo in the trade that sent fan favorite and Sabres captain Michael Peca to the New York Islanders. Connolly was an immediate target of scorn that lasted through his first two seasons in Buffalo. A 2003 preseason concussion wiped out his fifth pro campaign and cast doubt on his future with the Sabres.

"We really didn't even have him on the radar" before training camp, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff told USA Today. Connolly seemed destined for the waiver wire, but then the Sabres saw something special emerge out of the fifth pick of the 1999 draft.

"It wasn't even his offense that opened our eyes," Ruff said. "It was his competitive nature. It was his willingness to compete, be hit, get hit and block shots. Those things are what really got noticed."

Connolly, a player with ratings of minus-25, minus-14 and minus-28 in past seasons, became one of Buffalo's top penalty killers and a key member of the power play. With four regular-season games remaining, and despite missing nearly a quarter of the season, he was second on the team in assists and fifth in points. His 14 multipoint games ranked second.

The Masterton Trophy is awarded each season under the trusteeship of the PHWA to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The winner is selected from a poll of the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season, and a $2500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund in the name of the winner.

The NHL Writers' Association presented the Masterton Trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, and who died Jan. 15, 1968.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82