Another day, another Sabre bites the dust.
On Monday, it was diminutive forward Cory Conacher — Buffalo GM Tim Murray declined to give the 24-year-old a qualifying offer, meaning Conacher will go from a restricted free agent to unrestricted tomorrow, when the summer market opens.
The move doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Earlier in the day, Murray balked at qualifying d-man Jamie McBain while hemming and hawing about doing the same for Conacher, who was picked up off waivers last season from Ottawa and scored six points in 19 games. Today’s decision marks the end of a steady decline for the former Canisius College standout; Conacher, who split a solid rookie campaign between the Sens and Lightning, finished sixth in Calder voting during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign and scored three playoff goals for the Sens that spring.
He fell out of favor in Ottawa 60 games into last season, however, and failed to impress Buffalo brass enough to keep him around. Per the Buffalo News, qualifying Conacher would have cost the Sabres $874,125.