Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announced today the Sabres have agreed to terms on a multi-year deal with restricted free agent center Tim Connolly. Connolly was scheduled for NHL arbitration Tuesday, August 1, in Toronto.
Connolly, 25, was fifth on the Sabres in scoring last season, posting career highs in points (55), goals (16) and assists (39) in 63 games. Despite missing 19 games due to injury, Connolly's 39 assists were second only to Maxim Afinogenov's 51. Connolly was also second on the team with 17 multi-point games.
"After discussions with Tim and our medical staff, we fully expect Tim to be completely healthy,"said Regier.
The Sabres were 42-18-3 with Connolly in the lineup, and 10-6-3 in the 19 games he missed.
Connolly played in Buffalo's first eight games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, before being injured early in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Ottawa on May 8. At the time of his injury, Connolly's 11 points (5+6) was tops on the Sabres.
Connolly, who missed the entire 2003-04 season due to post-concussion symptoms, was Buffalo's nominee for the Masterton Trophy this season, recognizing perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Connolly has 200 points (62+138) in 388 career games, after being selected fifth overall by the New York Islanders in the 1999 Entry Draft. He was acquired (with Taylor Pyatt) from the Islanders on June 24, 2001 in exchange for Michael Peca.