Cory Conacher is losing out on the Florida sun but he got a big jump in the standings and a much shorter trip to games for his family.
The former Canisius College star was traded Wednesday by the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Ottawa Senators for goalie Ben Bishop in one of the more interesting trades on deadline day.
Oddly enough, Conacher's debut with the Senators will come here Friday night against the Sabres. He had been scheduled to play the Buffalo homecoming game with Tampa on April 14. Conacher left Tampa Wednesday on a flight to Boston to join the Senators.
"I was counting down the days when I was with Tampa and the Tampa team play Buffalo in about a week. And now I get to play them sooner," Conacher said on Team 1200 Radio in Ottawa before boarding the flight.
"So it's going to be a lot of fun to go to Buffalo to see some old friends from school, my old coach as well. It's going to be a fun little trip there, a fun start to my Ottawa career and hopefully we get a win there."
Click above for the NHL Network's take on the Erik Karlsson injury. Here's a solid column by good friend of the blog Pierre LeBrun on ESPN.com, who points out that as much of a loss Karlsson is to the Senators, it's a bigger loss to the league as a whole
Ottawa GM Bryan Murray held a press conference today, confirming Karlsson has had surgery for a 70 percent cut of his Achilles and will be out 3-4 months.
"His year is finished at this time," said Murray, who explained this is an injury that could have taken up to a year of recovery time if it was more severe.
Coming to a photojournalism contest near you: Erik Karlsson's Achilles is sliced by Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke (left). (AP Photo)
By Mike Harrington
Milan Michalek and Erik Karlsson combined on the short-handed goal that beat the Sabres Tuesday night in Ottawa and the Senators looked pretty darn good in that game even without the injured Jason Spezza. Goalie Craig Anderson had a 42-save shutout and played like the NHL's best.
But Michalek suffered an unknown lower-body injury during the warmup last night in Pittsburgh and now Karlsson, the defending Norris Trophy winner, is done for the year after suffering a lacerated Achilles in a collision with Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke. Karlsson will be out at least 3-4 months, Sens GM Bryan Murray said today. So that's it for him.
I didn't like the Cooke play at all. Brendan Shanahan issued no suspension today and I see that. It's hard to judge intent. There wasn't even a penalty on the play. But what was Cooke's leg even doing up there? Was he getting ready for a slew foot?
"Obviously we need more production out of Drew," coach Lindy Ruff bluntly told me today. "He had Grade A opportunities last game (Sunday's 3-1 loss to Boston), two that we need him to finish. I can't stand here and say, 'Well he had two great chances.' The production is putting those away. When the game was 1-1, he could have turned it to 2-1 for us on a couple of his opportunties.
"He did make a real good play to [Tyler] Ennis that got us the tie. Maybe that's a start. Some of the in-tight stuff, he's had a couple chances and the in-tight stuff has got to improve."
Tyler Myers (right) met Colin Greening along the boards last week in Ottawa and gets another shot tonight. (Getty Images)
By Mike Harrington
OTTAWA -- The Sabres have done a lot of talking the last few days amongst themselves. But what's the old adage? Talk is cheap. Let's see what it means on the ice.
We get a big look tonight at Scotiabank Place as defenseman Tyler Myers returns to the lineup for the game against the Ottawa Senators after sitting out two games as a healthy scratch. Myers had long talks with coach Lindy Ruff and veteran Robyn Regher last Friday in Long Island and said today he's prepared to be "starting from ground zero"* tonight.
"It feels good to be back in but I don't know if it's a relief," Myers said today. "I don't come here just to get in the lineup. I need to put together a solid defensive game and just build it from there. I've tried to work as hard as I can using the time I have to try to mentally get prepared and that's the biggest thing. I don't think at this point it's anything physical. It's just getting my head straight."
The Sabres canceled a day off last week and practiced because they needed the work. They decided today they needed the rest.
The Sabres have axed their practice scheduled for this morning and will meet this afternoon when they travel to Ottawa. They play the Senators on Tuesday, which will be the team's 14th game in 24 days.
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.
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, is in his sixth season covering the Buffalo Sabres. 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.