Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Connolly now a Former Prince George Cougar

The 9 game struck and Brett Connolly was still around the Tampa Bay dressing room as the Lightning made it official, Brett Connolly had made their club. Once he plays his 10th NHL game (Thursday vs. Nashville) a year of his contract will kick in. Tuesday night we had Al Bristowe from PGTV on the show to discuss whether or not Connolly would stick, and recently Guy wrote a piece about decision time for NHL teams.

Bristowe alerted TPS through this tweet.
AlBristowe Allan Bristowe
#PrinceGeorge Minor hockey product Brett Connolly to stay in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the season! #TampaBayLightning
While Connolly making the team shouldn't be a complete shocker to anyone, I do think the majority of people expected him back in Prince George at some point. The Cougars seem to desperately need him having scored the 2nd fewest goals, and with their 6th straight loss sit 2nd last in the league. Had Connolly been returned, the team could have turned things around as they have a solid young base of talent, or he would likely have been dealt at some point and improve the team some picked to win the division this year for the next few seasons.

By two different twists of fate, the Cougars have missed out on adding to their arsenal. Connolly making the Lightning this year, and Dana Tyrell suffering a season ending injury while with Hockey Canada. Both oddly involve Al Murray who was the head scout for Hockey Canada and now holds that position with the Bolts.

As for Connolly (who was a guest blogger for us leading up to the 2010 draft) so far, he's playing almost 14 minutes a night and is tied with Victor Hedman at +5 for the team lead. He only has 2 points, but those will come if he keeps playing with Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. The dynamic duo have taken the product of Prince George Minor Hockey under their shoulder pads off the ice as well so he'll be surrounded by good mentors/role models as he learns about life as a pro.

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