UPDATE: Conacher passed through waivers and has been loaned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
#Isles Transaction: Cory Conacher has cleared waivers and been loaned to @TheSoundTigers.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 13, 2014
That doesn't mean that Conacher will necessarily remain in the Islanders system. Last season, Pierre-Marc Bouchard cleared waivers in November and was traded with Peter Regin to Chicago for a fourth round pick in February. But for now, Conacher is a Sound Tiger
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When the New York Islanders put Eric Boulton back into the lineup last night -- for his fourth game of the season -- ahead of Cory Conacher, you had to wonder if this was it.
Conacher had a mix of healthy scratches and fourth-line cameos during his sporadic recent appearances, and it now appears the Conacher experiment is over. Or at least placed in cold storage. The Isles placed Conacher on waivers today, marking the second time in the last two seasons that an NHL team has waived him.
Last season, the Buffalo Sabres claimed Conacher off waivers from the Ottawa Senators, and he logged three goals and three assists in 19 games with the Sens. This season, he has just three points in 15 games, despite starting the season on the first line.
In terms of a 12th or 13th forward, he wasn't bad, exactly. He just found no chemistry and no production on that top line -- no ability to recapture the lightning in a bottle (see what I did there?) that he had during his rookie year with Steven Stamkos in Tampa Bay. As if to drive home that point, his lone goal was a gimme into a wide-open net on this season's opening weekend. And the Isles clearly never felt he fit their traditional view of a fourth line.
With the amount of bodies and IR juggling the Isles have done and will need to continue to do, Conacher draws the short straw while Boulton remains. If Conacher, who signed a one-year, one-way, $600,000 deal over the summer, clears waivers, he'd go to AHL Bridgeport.
Sound Tigers Retain C. Gillies
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers also announced a move at forward today, though it's not actually an addition to the lineup: Colton Gillies, the 2007 first-round pick (16th) of the Minnesota Wild, has signed an AHL contract. He had been playing with the Sound Tigers on a professional tryout (PTO) that was due to expire.
UPDATE: Michael Fornabaio at Soundin' Off has more on Gillies' impact in Bridgeport, as well as a lens on Conacher, a former AHL MVP.