What do you do with your first NHL check? Buy a truck, says Tampa Bay Lightning's Brett Connolly
How did Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Brett Connolly, who has a three-year, $2.7 million contract, feel when he got his first NHL check?
"It's better than making 80 bucks every two weeks in junior," he said. "It hasn't sunk in yet."
Perhaps it will later today when Connolly, 19, picks up his new Range Rover, his first big purchase and his first automobile.
"I lived at home and drove around in my parents truck," Connolly said.
Speaking of Connolly's parents, their gift is forthcoming.
"Hopefully, take them on a vacation somewhere," Connolly said. "I've got to pay them back. A lot of sacrifices by them, a ton of money put it, early mornings. I've got to repay them somehow."
Other stuff from the morning skate: Dwayne Roloson gets his third straight start in net. ... With right wing Mattias Ritola expected to be sent to AHL Norfolk after clearing waivers on Thursday, Tom Pyatt is back in the lineup. ... Tampa Bay now has 13 forwards on the roster. That is better for coach Guy Boucher who was scratching two forwards a night. But Boucher still would rather play 11 forwards and seven defensemen. In other words, the roster still is not where he wants it, and it's going to get more complicated again when defenseman Mattias Ohlund (knees) comes back. Ohlund is skating but just basically gliding, and even Boucher said he is "far from a comeback." ... Defenseman Bruno Gervais was scratched for a ninth straight game. "It's hard for sure," Gervais said. "Practices are like my games. I'm trying to do what I do in games, do it in practice." Gervais also added this: "You feel left out. You don't feel part of it. You try to feel as much a part of it as you can, but you're not on the ice when you win and lose. So, that's been the hard part." ... Ritola said he has no hard feelings toward the Lightning, but still believes he can play in the NHL. That said, he believes he will benefit more from being with the Admirals than sitting and watching for Tampa Bay. "As a player you want to get better," Ritola said. "I'm not getting better sitting up here for sure."