Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals marked the homecoming for Florida Panthers forward Brett Connolly at Capital One Arena. After three seasons with the Capitals that sparked a career turnaround, the 27-year old signed a four-year contract with the Panthers in search of a bigger role. The Capitals paid tribute to Connolly with a retrospective video.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) November 28, 2019
The tribute occurred during the first television timeout of the game on Wednesday night. Fans stood up and applauded Connolly for helping bring the Capitals their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in 2018. Connolly saluted the crowd, waving to the packed house. The Capitals also tapped their sticks in honor of their former teammate.
The complete tribute video:
Connolly hit the 15-goal mark in each of his first two seasons in Washington before scoring a career-high 22 last year. Entering Wednesday’s game, Connolly led the Panthers with 11 goals and has recorded 18 points and a +5 rating through 24 games this season.
After not getting a qualifying offer from the Boston Bruins as a restricted free agent in 2016, Connolly signed a one-year contract worth $850,000 with the Capitals, who were in need of secondary scoring. He would turn out to be a bargain as he scored 15 goals in only 66 games in 2016-17 and he re-signed with the Capitals on a two-year deal. After hitting 15 goals again, Connolly notched six postseason goals during the Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup in 2018 and had the primary assist on center Lars Eller’s Cup-clinching goal in Game 5 of the Final at the Vegas Golden Knights.
In 217 career games as a Capital, Connolly finished with 52 goals, 96 points, and a +27 rating. In 38 Stanley Cup Playoff games, he added eight goals, 11 points, and an even rating.
Thank you, Conno!
— I Like Hockey 🏆🦅⛸️🏒🥅 (@danadaniello) November 27, 2019
By Harrison Brown