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01-29-2013, 12:52 PM
  #1
Nibbler
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Cory Conacher

Can anyone explain why Buffalo didn't sign this kid out of college, or even last season when he was tearing up Norfolk and didn't have an NHL contract yet? He played college hockey right in the Sabres' back yard...

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01-29-2013, 01:12 PM
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The reason is because Darcy hates the Amerks and takes great pleasure in displeasing their fan base.

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01-29-2013, 01:18 PM
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5'8" guy tearing up the AHL sounds like a recipe for distaster in the NHL.

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01-29-2013, 01:20 PM
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Same reason nobody else did

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01-29-2013, 01:20 PM
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5'8" guy tearing up the AHL sounds like a recipe for distaster in the NHL.
...unless you put him on Steven Stamkos' wing!

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01-29-2013, 01:23 PM
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We have too many undersized players already would be my biggest guess.

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01-29-2013, 01:29 PM
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I think its because Lindy doesn't like signing anyone who he doesn't believe will have a chance at a NHL career.

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01-29-2013, 01:33 PM
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They did have him in for Dev Camp a few years back, so it isn't like they weren't keeping an eye on him. But yeah, they may have become too focused on bigger players after years of going small to throw him a deal. It's great for him that he's taken off like he has so far as a pro -- well done. Sucks to see when looking at the talent-starved NHL and AHL roster here though...

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01-29-2013, 02:57 PM
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It's entirely possible they tried to and he chose another organization that he felt he had a better chance of making

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01-29-2013, 03:06 PM
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They did have him in for Dev Camp a few years back
I was wondering that, I thought I remembered seeing he was.

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01-29-2013, 03:42 PM
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It's entirely possible they tried to and he chose another organization that he felt he had a better chance of making
agreed- coming from the NCAA conference that he did probably hurt him as well. Usually with the top end NCAA free agents they have multiple teams chasing them. he probably sat down with his agent and picked where the best fit would be...

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01-29-2013, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rahrahguy View Post
Can anyone explain why Buffalo didn't sign this kid out of college, or even last season when he was tearing up Norfolk and didn't have an NHL contract yet? He played college hockey right in the Sabres' back yard...
Varone maybe? Certainly Conacher being undersized was a factor. Also, it's not like Conacher didn't have an AHL tryout with Rochester (FLA affiliate at the time) after he finished play at Canisius. However, they passed on him and he went on to his next tryout with Milwaukee. There also was the Portland-to-Rochester affiliate transition that summer when Conacher ultimately signed with Norfolk (and attended training camp in Tampa). He probably had multiple destinations available to him like previous posters have suggested.

Anyway, no one could sign him last year when he was tearing it up in Norfolk, as Tampa Bay held his rights through July 1 (and they eventually did sign him to an ELC near the the end of the season).

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01-29-2013, 06:06 PM
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I think its because Lindy doesn't like signing anyone who he doesn't believe will have a chance at a NHL career.
Matt Ellis

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01-30-2013, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Woodhouse View Post
Varone maybe? Certainly Conacher being undersized was a factor. Also, it's not like Conacher didn't have an AHL tryout with Rochester (FLA affiliate at the time) after he finished play at Canisius. However, they passed on him and he went on to his next tryout with Milwaukee. There also was the Portland-to-Rochester affiliate transition that summer when Conacher ultimately signed with Norfolk (and attended training camp in Tampa). He probably had multiple destinations available to him like previous posters have suggested.

Anyway, no one could sign him last year when he was tearing it up in Norfolk, as Tampa Bay held his rights through July 1 (and they eventually did sign him to an ELC near the the end of the season).
How did they hold his rights? I thought the only way to gain the rights of an undrafted player is by signing them to a contract? If I remember correctly Tampa didn't sign him until half way through the AHL season.

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01-30-2013, 09:32 AM
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We have too many undersized players already would be my biggest guess.
He would have made a great replacement for Gerbe methinks...

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01-30-2013, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by rahrahguy View Post
Can anyone explain why Buffalo didn't sign this kid out of college, or even last season when he was tearing up Norfolk and didn't have an NHL contract yet? He played college hockey right in the Sabres' back yard...
He has stated that he wanted to be loyal to Tampa as they gave him a chance.

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01-30-2013, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rahrahguy View Post
How did they hold his rights? I thought the only way to gain the rights of an undrafted player is by signing them to a contract? If I remember correctly Tampa didn't sign him until half way through the AHL season.
Not sure if camp invite + AHL SPC with camp's affiliate gets a team exclusivity, but I do remember reading somewhere that Tampa had his rights. They didn't rush it and finally signed him in March. IIRC he's also diabetic in addition to undersized, which would raise flags with NHL scouts.

EDIT: Here's the LINK:
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“His play away from the puck, his overall understanding of the system has really come together over the course of the last month,” Norfolk GM Julien BriseBois said. “He’s been a really good addition to our organization and right now he’s looking like a good prospect for the NHL.”

First, Conacher, 21, must sign an NHL contract. He currently has a minor-league deal. The Lightning owns Conacher’s rights until July 1, when he can become an unrestricted free agent. BriseBois said Tampa Bay has informed Conacher and his agent “we are planning on signing him.”

“But there are timing issues,” BriseBois added, so the team is “holding pat.”

Because Conacher is more than 20 years old, he will lose one of the three years in which he is exempt from waivers as soon as he plays one pro game under an NHL contract. In that sense, it would be better for Tampa Bay to sign him after the season.

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01-30-2013, 06:27 PM
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Cant recall all the details, but Conacher was unsigned due to some quirk affecting his number of years as a restricted free agent. He signed like a day after the threshold which give Tampa an extra year of exclusivity. Prior to him signing I dont know if they owned his rights or whether he just showed loyalty to the team who gave him a shot. Either way it was a given he would be offered a contract after that cut off date.

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01-30-2013, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodhouse View Post
Not sure if camp invite + AHL SPC with camp's affiliate gets a team exclusivity, but I do remember reading somewhere that Tampa had his rights. They didn't rush it and finally signed him in March. IIRC he's also diabetic in addition to undersized, which would raise flags with NHL scouts.

EDIT: Here's the LINK:
I don't believe they had any exclusivity with him, it's just a mutual respect between GM's around the league and his agent.
They signed him to a try-out for camp, which he was released from prior to the start of the season.
He was given an AHL SPC, which doesn't give the parent club any exclusive rights.

The opposite of the Conacher situation would be Jonathan Audy-Marchessault.
He was signed to an AHL SPC by the Connecticut Whale and refused to sign with the parent Rangers, then signed an ELC with the Blue Jackets on July 1st.

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Cant recall all the details, but Conacher was unsigned due to some quirk affecting his number of years as a restricted free agent. He signed like a day after the threshold which give Tampa an extra year of exclusivity. Prior to him signing I dont know if they owned his rights or whether he just showed loyalty to the team who gave him a shot. Either way it was a given he would be offered a contract after that cut off date.
The date you're referring to is a few days after the trade deadline when teams have the option to have contracts begin during the current season or the following season.
Any non-extension prior to that date can only be for the current season.
By the time they knew they had wanted to sign him, it was already later in the season and they would have lost a year for nothing basically, since they probably planned on keeping him in the AHL for the rest of the season even if he had an NHL contract.
The Sabres did the same with Varone.
I believe this option has been done away with in the new CBA to take away leverage from NCAA players and their agents that feel like they have the right to hold teams hostage when they are coming out of college.


As for why the Sabres didn't sign him, 28 teams didn't either.
He had multiple things working against him that probably made teams just pass him over: his size, the fact that he's diabetic, and the program he played for (had never produced an NHL'er before him).
He's proven that none of those things are issues so far, but they are issues you take into account when looking at a player.
A lot of people thought the Matt Read signing was stupid too because of the question marks associated with him (low-end conference and program, age, lack of pedigree aka he once played Junior D, believe it or not).

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01-30-2013, 08:40 PM
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I don't believe they had any exclusivity with him, it's just a mutual respect between GM's around the league and his agent.
They signed him to a try-out for camp, which he was released from prior to the start of the season.
He was given an AHL SPC, which doesn't give the parent club any exclusive rights.

The opposite of the Conacher situation would be Jonathan Audy-Marchessault.
He was signed to an AHL SPC by the Connecticut Whale and refused to sign with the parent Rangers, then signed an ELC with the Blue Jackets on July 1st.
Wouldn't a player need permission to be released from an AHL SPC though? Else, they couldn't sign with some other place until July 1, much like Audy-Marchessault did.

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01-30-2013, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rahrahguy View Post
He would have made a great replacement for Gerbe methinks...
Replacing him on a checking-line with Kaleta and Hecht? I don't see a fit there, but I'm curious about where you would slot him in (and who you slide down on the Kaleta-Hecht line if you wont play him there).


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01-30-2013, 08:51 PM
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Wouldn't a player need permission to be released from an AHL SPC though? Else, they couldn't sign with some other place until July 1, much like Audy-Marchessault did.
I'd guess an NHL contract would supercede any AHL contract by default, but it'd probably be frowned upon to poach a player.

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01-30-2013, 09:33 PM
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Also, he's not the same level as Conacher, but Andrew Agozzino is currently only on an AHL SPC.
History says he'll probably end up getting a contract from the parent club (Colorado), but you never know.

He was someone quite a few of us here liked during his time with the IceDogs and he's having a great season with Lake Erie from all reports.
I haven't seen all that much of him, but he showed well when I did and he was an All-Star selection as a rookie.
I think he could at least be a useful third line type in the NHL.

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01-31-2013, 08:57 AM
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Replacing him on a checking-line with Kaleta and Hecht? I don't see a fit there, but I'm curious about where you would slot him in (and who you slide down on the Kaleta-Hecht line if you wont play him there).
I meant replacing one undersized forward with another who looks to have more talent, wasn't worried about line combos.

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