Tim Connolly was born on May 7th, 1981 just outside of Syracuse in Baldwinsville, New York. He was selected 5th overall by the New York Islanders in the 1999 Entry Draft. Connolly had played two years for the Erie Otters of the OHL, where he produced at well over a point-per-game pace before being drafted.
After two mediocre (but not terrible for a rookie, by any means) seasons on the island, Connolly was traded to the Buffalo Sabres along with Taylor Pyatt in exchange for Mike Peca.
Connolly has always shown great potential, but injuries have limited his playing time throughout his career in Buffalo. The story has always been the same; when healthy, Tim Connolly is a beautifully talented playmaker with excellent vision, quick hands, and a knack for making the pretty play. When injured, as often is the case, he is nothing more than a waste of $4.5 million.
Connolly missed just three games in his first four season in the league, but one hit seems to have changed his life forever. During an exhibition game prior to the 2003-04 campaign, Connolly was hit and suffered a brutal concussion, forcing him to miss the entire season. He was able to return after the lockout and registered a career-high 55 points in the 2005-06 season, including several highlight-reel dekes and goals in Game 1 of a Best-of-7 Conference Semi-Final against the Ottawa Senators.
However, that would prove to be his only impact on the series, as he was once again hit and concussed early in Game two. This time, he missed the remainder of the playoffs (which culminated in a Game seven loss to Carolina in the Eastern Conference Finals) and the first 80 games of the ’06-07 season.
A slew of fluke injuries have continued to keep Connolly from becoming a consistent offensive power. A fractured vertebrae, a broken rib, a stress fracture, a broken foot in last year’s playoffs, and most recently, a broken-and-reconstructed nose have severely limited Connolly’s playing time.
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