The Tampa Bay Lightning are currently on their second stint with undersized forward Cory Conacher – but after just one game with the NHL club, he’s headed back to the minors again.
The Lightning confirmed on Sunday morning, via Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, that Conacher is headed back to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch after going scoreless in his first game back with the Atlantic Division club in over three years.
Undrafted at the NHL level Conacher – who stands at just 5 foot 8 – was signed as a free agent by Tampa Bay after a successful career with Canisius College. He put up 23 goals and 42 points through just 37 NCAA games in his senior season, earning him a look with Tampa Bay that ultimately turned him into a brief undrafted sensation.
While with Tampa Bay the first time around, the Burlington, Ontario native had a season that saw him put up 39 goals and 80 points in just 75 games for the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals. The next year, he put up nine goals and 24 points in 35 regular season NHL games with Tampa Bay – which prompted the team to sell high, trading him to the Ottawa Senators for netminder Ben Bishop.
Once he hit Ottawa, though, Conacher failed to replicate his success again. He was bounced around from the Senators to the Buffalo Sabres, then the New York Islanders and finally the Vancouver Canucks. That much movement resulted in him heading overseas for Switzerland – but now, after a season that saw him put up 52 points in 48 games for SC Bern, he’s back with the Lightning.
Ultimately, he may not ever stick at the NHL level again. With strong numbers in the minors and a history of being able to provide secondary offense in the majors, though, it’s good to see Conacher back in Florida once again.