From the moment that Tim Connolly was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs it was clear that it was a high-risk, high-reward move. Connolly has (had?) the potential to help address a couple of Toronto's biggest shortcomings:
Over the past three seasons, the Sabres have averaged nearly two goals more against per hour without Connolly than they have with him. Put another way, the Sabres have been roughly 40% more efficient killing penalties when Connolly was on the ice versus when he wasn’t. It’s no wonder that McKeen’s 2011-12 Yearbook states that Connolly "excelled killing penalties."
While the Sabres’ have run an above-average power play the last few seasons, Connolly’s numbers are still very good – typically, he has been the Sabre’s second-best power play scorer relative to ice-time. The fact that he’s been a key component on a successful power play is also to his credit – with the Leafs failing to ice even an NHL-average power play at any point over the past three seasons, Connolly should represent a welcome upgrade on the talent they’ve been using.
Of course, he's already on Injured Reserve. This could be a long season.