Just heard word from a Sabres team source that they have, in fact, signed Tim Connolly to a two-year contract extension worth $9 million. He's going to make $4.5 million for each of the next two seasons to stay in Buffalo.
You can't blame the Sabres for not paying this time, but you can blame them for overpaying for Connolly in this case. They're taking a big risk in taking on that much guaranteed money for a guy who has missed about two-thirds of the games under his current three-year deal worth $8.7 million.
Connolly is a great talent, but did he really deserve a $1 million a year raise from the $3.5 million he received this season? Apparently, they're convinced his injuries are behind him and he's going to stay healthy enough, and effective enough, in the next two years to warrant the money.
It also goes against what I had heard leading into today's deadline about what they were willing to pay him. Obviously, the Sabres caved. Connolly was looking for a longer deal, but the Sabres weren't willing to get into a four-year contract with him. By the looks of things, they jacked up the money in exchange for fewer years.
All told, that's $17.7 million during a five-year stretch for a guy who has played only 79 of the last 227 games. Is that too much?
--- Bucky Gleason