The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/07/11 at 02:01 PM ET
Updated 2x at 1:08 PM: Well, he’s neither big nor strong, but the Red Wings have at least added a depth forward who should help the Grand Rapids Griffins in former Pittsburgh Penguin Chris Conner:
CHRIS CONNER TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT
… Former Michigan Tech Star and Westland Native has Skated in 139 Career NHL Games with Pittsburgh and Dallas …
Detroit, MI… Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the club has signed free agent forward Chris Conner to a one-year contract. In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
Conner has registered 16G-24A-40P in 139 career NHL games as a member of the Dallas Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins. The 27-year-old native of Westland , Mich. originally began his professional hockey career in 2006 with the Iowa Stars (AHL) after spending four seasons with the Michigan Tech Huskies (WCHA) during which he tallied 69G-60A-129P in 151 games played. Conner has recorded 72G-102A-174P in 218 appearances at the AHL level with Iowa , Peoria and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Born Dec 23 1983 —Westland, MI
Height 5.08—Weight 175—Shoots L
—- Regular Season—- ——Playoffs——
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000-01 Chicago Freeze NAHL 56 17 28 45 18
2001-02 Compuware Ambassadors NAHL 19 4 9 13 23
2001-02 Chicago Freeze NAHL 30 18 15 33 30
2002-03 Michigan Tech WCHA 38 13 24 37 8
2003-04 Michigan Tech WCHA 38 25 14 39 12
2004-05 Michigan Tech WCHA 37 14 10 24 6
2005-06 Michigan Tech WCHA 38 17 12 29 18
2005-06 Iowa Stars AHL 15 2 3 5 0 7 1 1 2 2
2006-07 Iowa Stars AHL 48 19 18 37 24 12 2 5 7 2
2006-07 Dallas Stars NHL 11 1 2 3 4 —————
2007-08 Iowa Stars AHL 55 13 26 39 17 —————
2007-08 Dallas Stars NHL 22 3 2 5 6 1 0 0 0 0
2008-09 Dallas Stars NHL 38 3 10 13 10 —————
2008-09 Peoria Rivermen AHL 30 16 12 28 10 —————
2009-10 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pen AHL 59 19 37 56 21 4 2 2 4 2
2009-10 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 8 2 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 0
2010-11 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pen AHL 11 3 6 9 2 —————
2010-11 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 60 7 9 16 10 7 1 0 1 0
NHL Totals 139 16 24 40 30 9 1 0 1 0
The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Westland native has 16 goals, 24 assists and 30 penalty minutes in 139 games over parts of five NHL seasons with Dallas and Pittsburgh.
Conner scored the game-winning goal, on a penalty shot against Joey MacDonald, in the Penguins’ 4-1 win over the Red Wings on Jan. 18 at the Consol Energy Center.
He played four years at Michigan Tech and wasn’t drafted.
No contract details yet. It’s probably a two-way contract. Guessing he’ll compete for a spot in training camp, but the team already has 13 forwards on one-way deals and a 14th, Cory Emmerton, who must clear waivers to be sent back to Grand Rapids.
And Khan went to the same place I did—the Sports Forecaster—to learn about the 27-year-old:
ASSETS: Displays blazing speed and plenty of energy every shift. Works extremely hard and can play either wing position. Produces points at lower levels.
FLAWS: Is fairly tiny by today’s NHL standards and lacks the strength to win battles in the corners regularly. Also lacks a little hockey sense and confidence at the highest level.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Speedy depth winger with a lack of size.
Update #2: The Free Press’s George Sipple confirms...
Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed in a text message that Conner signed a two-way contract.
He’ll likely be a depth forward, as the team already has 13 forwards signed to one-way contracts, plus Cory Emmerton, who would have to clear waivers to be sent back to Grand Rapids (AHL).
Conner (5-8, 180) is a native of Westland who starred at Michigan Tech from 2002-2006. He set career-highs with seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 60 games for the Penguins last season. He also played in seven playoff games for the Penguins, scoring one goal.
In 139 career NHL games, between the Stars and Penguins, Connner has 16 goals, 24 assists and 40 points.
As does the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, who ponders what impact Conner might have upon the depth chart:
Conner, 27, will have to fight for a roster spot heading into camp.
After re-signing Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller, the Wings have 13 forwards heading into camp on one-way contracts.
Cory Emmerton is on a two-way deal, but if the Wings were to send him back to Grand Rapids he would have to clear waivers to do so and any team could claim him.
There’s also a good possibility that Kris Draper will receive an invite to camp to compete for a roster spot.
Draper has said he wants to play another season, preferably with Detroit.
Last year, the Wings offered Kirk Maltby a two-way deal to come to training camp. Maltby did not make the team and decided to retire from hockey rather than reporting to the Griffins.
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