Nice to see that Bucky Gleason has come around to my way of thinking on Tim Connolly. Acccording to today's column, Columbus is hot for Connolly and might be willing to part with Rostislav Klesla, a big defenseman who was the NHL's fourth overall pick in 2000. Bucky says it's time for the Sabres to consider moving Connolly. He says he isn't backtracking from his column a few weeks ago, when he argued against such a trade. He says the circumstances have changed with the injuries to Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller, and he's right about that.
Also, the Sabres are running out of time to re-sign Connolly to that "hometown" discount Bucky was advocating a few weeks ago. Supposedly, the two sides were going to discuss an extension, but we haven't hear a word since then. That tells me Connolly and his agent will test the free-agent waters -- which is what I expected all along. It's touching to think Connolly might sign for less with the Sabres, just to make things right here. But he owes it to himself to find out what he's worth in the market.
When I suggested moving Connolly, I was told that the Sabres wouldn't get anything back for him, since he has a long history of injuries. I found it odd that Buffalo hockey observers could call Connolly the most talented player on the team and assume there wasn't at least one team out there willing to take a risk. Now it appears Columbus might be that team. Who says they'll be the only one? If the Sabres can get a useful player back for Connolly -- and maybe dump Min Afinogenov in the process -- they should do it.
That makes a lot more sense than trading for another veteran backup goaltender to perpetuate the myth that this infinitely flawed Sabres team is capable of a deep Stanley Cup run.