Feature Friday: Chris Conner

Throughout the 2013-2014 NHL season, I’ll be posting player features each Friday. This week, we’re going to take a look at Chris Conner. 

 

By: Melissa Esing (Off_thePost)

Photo Credit:  Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

 

As mentioned in most player features, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been plagued by injuries throughout the 2013-’14 season. Chris Conner especially takes the cake when it comes to being unlucky with injuries.

In January, he underwent surgery after breaking his hand, which set him back for 6-8 weeks. His injury led to the claiming of fourth-liner Taylor Pyatt off of waivers. For a player that bounces back and forth between the AHL and NHL, this set back his hopes of earning a more permanent spot within the NHL.

Conner was back to practicing in March, and his return was looking good. What stood in the way for him was the shot he blocked in practice that happened to break his foot. This took him out for the regular season, and it’s not looking promising that he’ll be seeing much playing time during the playoffs, if any at all. Prior to his injury, Conner had four goals and one assist in 19 games.

Originally, Conner was signed by the Dallas Stars in 2006 as an undrafted free agent. Throughout his career within the NHL, he’s played for the Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes as well.

The 30-year-old forward was signed to the Penguins for the second time after previously being a part of the team during the 2009-’10 and 10-’11 seasons.  He played a total of 68 games with the organization, registering 19 points. He scored one goal within his nine career playoff appearances. His career best was with the Penguins during the 2010-’11 when he had seven goals a nine assists within 60 games. While playing with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, his career high in the AHL was in 2009-’10 with 19 goals and 37 assists.

Conner clearly doesn’t possess the “star” caliber that several of his teammates have, and he isn’t typically counted on to score goals. One thing that works against him at times is his small frame. He stands at 5′ 8″, when the average NHL player is at least 6′ (and up).

Although he’s out of time to improve himself during the regular season, he returned from his two-game conditioning assignment with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on April 21. He might finally be able to see some time on the ice, depending on the types of roster changes that need to be made throughout the rest of the playoffs.

 

Can we all just take a minute though….