After spending nearly the entire season in the AHL, speedy forward Chris Conner has been given a chance for regular ice time with the Phoenix Coyotes, and is making the most of his chance. Conner notched a goal in his first game with the Coyotes, and had an assist in Friday’s overtime loss to the Calgary Flames, giving him two points in five games. The Coyotes shipped out Steve Sullivan, Matthew Lombardi and Raffi Torres out before the trade deadline, which creates a lot of ice time for Conner and other players.
Undrafted after a collegiate career at Michigan Tech University, Conner first hit the NHL during the 2006-07 season with the Dallas Stars. He spent the last three season playing in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ and Detroit Red Wings’ organizations, and has now appeared in more than 150 games. Through 60 games with the Portland Pirates of the AHL this season, he had 13 goals and 40 points.
Scoring has been a concern for the Coyotes at times this season, and with every point precious at this point in the season it would be wise for the team to keep Conner, Alex Bolduc and other players in the lineup as long as they continue producing.
The overtime loss to the Flames wasn’t the result the Coyotes were looking for, but the point they did manage to get moved them into a three-way tie with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Stars with 43 points, fighting for the ninth spot in the standings. They next host the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.