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Connolly on eye: 'It was an accidental thing'

Tim Connolly was back on the ice with his teammates for the first time in nearly two weeks this morning but did admit his injured groin was still sore after taking the morning skate in HSBC Arena. There's no timetable for his return.

More on Connolly's health in a minute. The bigger question of the day was his first public comments on what happened at Ryan Miller's Catwalk for Charity event Nov. 21 in the Town Ballroom.

Connolly showed up for practice the next day with eye lacerations and rumors quickly spread around town, fueled on Twitter by ex-Sabre and current ESPN analyst Matthew Barnaby, that Connolly had been punched by Derek Roy. That story was quickly denied by Roy and coach Lindy Ruff.

"It was exactly what Lindy and Derek told you," Connolly said. "The record has been set straight. We'll just go with that. That's the true story."

Pressed to give details on the story, Connolly said, "I was backstage, preparing a dance move and I just fell. That was it. It was an accidental thing. It wasn't 'Roysie' punching me in the face. I don't know where that came out. Those things can snowball. ... I got a little work to do on [the dance move]. I saw Shaquille O'Neal doing it on TV. It needs a little work."

Asked if he was angry with Barnaby, Connolly said, "There's no hard feelings there. It's the job of the media to try to get the scoop, the early scoop on things. Sometimes the right story doesn't come out. It's just part of it. That's part of the deal."

Connolly said he's encouraged to be back on the ice, but said his return to skating doesn't necessarily discount the week-to-week timetable Ruff has labeled the injury.

"The last few days really turned the corner," Connolly said. "I didn't have much strength in it at all the last few days. Bu I've been able to get back on the ice on my own, get some light skating in and try to get a little bit more each day. ... It's one of those thoings you've got to be patient with. I've been able to get a good amount of work in the gym. It's just the skating motion that you have to strengthen in the inner groin area."

---Mike Harrington

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

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About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |