I'm almost of a mind that swapping him for Ellis or Blum would be the right move for the Bolts. I know he's a rookie, but we have pretty good forward depth and no D depth, and I would say he's a coin flip on whether or not he turns out to be a bust...
Boucher said Labrie will play tomorrow. He wouldnt say who is coming out though. I would guess Connolly.
At this point, he is still here for two reasons. Either we make a run and get into the playoffs and he gets that experience, or we dont and then they have the ability to send him to the Admirals for their playoff run and get that experience. Both of which are infinitely more important than a memorial cup playoff run.
Ive never been a huge fan of Connolly to be honest. He has the skills but the work ethic doesnt seem to be there, on or off the ice. Will be interesting to see what direction his career goes in the next few years.
I believe he definitely has a good work ethic, and if he didn't he wouldn't have made it past his first 9 games. Boucher, Marty, and others have said before he's soaking up a lot of stuff and working hard. I don't think his effort has even been an issue for the coaches. I also don't think scouts would consider you a top 3 pick in your draft class if you didn't have some kind of work ethic and leadership today.
I agree with your reasons for him staying here, but I think he is also still here because he can play at this level. Last night was a low point where he spent the most time on the bench he has all season but before that he's still been averaging a couple more minutes that you would get from a normal 4th liner. He can play, but he is what he is, a 19 year old rookie . Unfortunately in our situation he can't be babied and we can't accept mistakes from anyone that could result as a single goal or a single lost game.
"It's still All In to me dammit." - Felonious Python