Does Tim Connolly deserve a contract extension? I am pretty sure that there are few Sabres fans that believe Timmy is worth the $4,500,000 we are paying him for his 36 pts this season. So if he is not worth that much money how much is he worth? Using player stats collected before last nights games I compared other centers in the league that have within 7pts(20%) of Connolly and are within 10gp of his 61. Here they are with salaries: (I excluded 2 entry level contracts)
Sam Gagner 68gp 42pts $2,275,000
David Legwand 58gp 41pts $4,500,000
Saku Koivu 69gp 41pts $2,500,000
Matt Cullen 71gp 38pts $3,500,000
Valterri Filppula 65gp 37pts $3,000,000
Dave Bolland 61gp 37pts $3,375,000
Jiri Hudler 68gp 36pts $2,875,000
Nik Antropov 69gp 35pts $4,062,500
Pierre-Marc Bouchard 52gp 31pts $4,080,000
Matt Stajan 71gp 31pts $3,500,000
Jason Arnott 69gp 29pts $4,500,000
Jochen Hecht 66gp 28pts $3,525,000
Tim Connolly 61gp 35pts $4,500,000
In this collection of players Tim Connolly is tied for the highest paid but it seems not as highly overpaid at first thought. The average of these players contracts comes in at $3,207,115. Does this mean we should resign Connolly at a heavily discounted rate between 3-3.5 mil. I believe that this would probably be the best move for the Sabres next year. The chances of signing a bona fide #1 center in the offseason is slim and if possible would mean cuts at every other position, possibly even having trouble signing Stafford to his deserved raise. With a healthy Roy as #1 hopefully playing like he did in the first 35 games of this year Connolly would be a solid #2. Maybe he can even increase his production next year with a healthy Roy taking some pressure and top defenders off of him.
I believe Connolly should be a part of this teams future if he can accept the fact that he will have to take a pay cut. With our young players emerging and a healthy Roy this team should be fighting for the top spot in the division next year. Things are not nearly as bleak as Sabres fans make them out to be. We just have to accept that Connolly will never be the #1 center that people wanted him to be. What do you think we should do with Tim Connolly?
P.S. Suggestions are welcome for future blogs. What do you want broken down? Currently working on best playoff goalies over the past 4 seasons.