Tue Nov 23 12:24pm EST
An injury to Tim Connolly(notes) of the Buffalo Sabres isn't exactly a stop-the-presses revelation; the forward's practically had "oft-injured" prefixed to his name. But it's the cause of one of his current ailments, an eye injury, that's creating a stir.
Reports out of Buffalo are that along with a groin injury suffered in practice, Connolly's sporting a shiner. How did this happen? ESPN's Matthew Barnaby raised eyebrows this morning by tweeting the following:
Again, this is ESPN's Matthew Barnaby reporting this.
Soon after that tweet, Barnaby (a former Buffalo Sabres player, of course) revised his story:
OK then. So either Connolly was slugged by a teammate or he injured himself doing the Electric Slide. What does his coach have to say about this? Glad you asked. (Update at end of post)
Sabres Coach Lindy Ruff was asked about Connolly's health on WGR this morning:
Q. Connolly has an eye issue, when did that happen in the game? What's up with him?
RUFF: "No, Connolly hurt his groin in yesterday's practice. It was pretty sore, so there's a good chance that, when we evaluate him this morning if that's the same state, that he won't be available to us. The eye is something that happened at Ryan's thing they had on Sunday night."
See what happens when you let the guys go out dancing at charity events.
RUFF: "... to see the way Tim looked is unfortunate, but it's an accident."
Well that clears up ... nothing. And Connolly isn't at Sabres practice today because of his "groin."
Naturally, Buffalo fans are going to believe what they want to believe, as Sabres Noise has clearly made up its mind on the matter:
Word on the street is right now that Derek Roy suckered him in the eye during Ryan Millers annual catwalk for charity. Really, you let yourself get punched in the eye by Derek Roy? Two things on that is - aren't you tall enough that Derek Roy can't reach your eye and really, Derek Roy just punched you? No wonder you have a groin injury...maybe you need the time off from the ice to figure out if you have anything left attached to your groin or if you really want to play hockey anymore. SERIOUS - GET ON THE FIRST BUS OUT OF BUFFALO. Do yourself the favor and put yourself on waivers - don't worry, you won't have to sell your house in Buffalo - no one will claim you, and you can still live there, cuz Portland of the AHL doesn't want you either. True or not, it makes for one hell of a story.
We're going to err on the side of "false." But thanks to Matt Barnaby, that's going to be a hard sell.
UPDATE: Bill Hoppe of MSG tweeted quotes from Lindy Ruff and Derek Roy today.
From Lindy Ruff:
"It has nothing to do with fighting. It has something to do with what he was trying ... to practice for part of the program, and he wasn't very good at it, obviously."
"Derek did not touch Tim Connolly."
From Derek Roy:
"I would not hit a teammate at a charity event, that's for sure."
"I'm just upset about it because I didn't do anything. I don't know who would smear my name like that."
His name is Matthew Barnaby and he works for ESPN, and he reported earlier today that you punched Tim Connolly, although he wasn't "100 percent" on the facts.