Tim Conboy is back with the Hurricanes, but his enthusiasm after getting the call was quickly tempered this time around.
“It’s hard to be happy to be up in the NHL just with the tragedy that happened with the guys,” said Conboy of yesterday’s bus accident involving the Albany River Rats. “It just makes you appreciate waking up every day and shows you how quickly it can come to an end. I’m just happy everyone made it out OK.”
Conboy, the Rats’ captain, missed the incident because he was finishing a suspension and was not on the team’s trip to Lowell. He didn’t find out about the accident until an Albany airport employee, who realized he played for the River Rats, asked if he was OK.
“I said, ‘Yeah, why?’ and she said, ‘Well, your bus crashed,’ Conboy recalled. “I thought she made a mistake and didn’t know if she had the right team.”
With the accident fresh on his mind, it was tough for Conboy to focus on last night’s game.
“It was just kind of a state of shock, a little queasy feeling in my stomach,” he said. “I couldn’t rest easy all day until I knew everyone was OK.”
Conboy did report that his normal defensive partner in Albany and with the Hurricanes earlier this season, Casey Borer, was doing OK and in high spirits despite being one of the five passengers who was hospitalized following the accident.
Despite the day’s turmoil, Conboy played about six and a half minutes last night, some at forward, earning seven penalty minutes on a fighting major and goaltender interference penalty. He appeared to have scored his first NHL goal before it was ruled out for the minor infraction.
“I guess you can’t run the goalie over,” he said with a laugh.
Conboy’s recall comes after the Hurricanes’ game against Boston on Tuesday, which left several Hurricanes with bumps and bruises. Despite the timing, Conboy, who has 127 penalty minutes with Albany this season, said he hadn’t been told by the coaching staff to play a certain way.
Then again, they probably don’t have to say anything.
“They just told me to play my game,” said Conboy. “They know what they’re going to get out of me.”