Total Season Stats: 78 GP | 14 G | 20 A | 34 PTS
Contract Status: One-year remaining, $3 million cap hit
Conor Sheary is a top-six forward. Conor Sheary is a top-six forward. Conor Sheary is…
It seems as though Buffalo fans had to keep repeating this over and over in their heads this season. Prior to coming to Buffalo for a fourth-round pick, Sheary was best known for a year in which he had 54 points en route to a Stanley Cup ring. The season before the trade, however, Sheary’s production took a dip, as did his ice time. It seems as though the Penguins thought his year on fire had been a fluke and gave him up for next to nothing
Welp. Conor Sheary, on this Buffalo Sabres team, was a top-six forward in the 2018-19 season. He played 14:37 a night, and managed to not make such a ludicrous number of glaring errors that no one really railroaded him for his performance. He had 34 points - better than his last season in Pittsburgh, but a far cry from his career high. He was a penalty killer for the squad, playing a minute and a half per game shorthanded, for a team that averaged 6:37 on the kill. Despite a huge disparity in scoring overall, the Sabres’ penalty kill fell just outside of the top ten..so...kudos to Sheary and the PK2 unit.
That production, though - those 34 points - is that worth $3 million a year? That puts Sheary number seven among forwards and eleventh on the team. Did he meet his value in that regard?
The short answer is yes. He ran back into the black on relative corsi and fenwick for, posting positive numbers in both categories. According to Fox Sports, he managed 0.3 points per minute, good enough for sixth on the team. Everyone above Sheary makes better money, save Victor Olofsson, who obviously had a smaller sample size.
Clearly, it was not Sheary’s best season, but he performed at a level that can be expected for a low-end top-six forward making $3 million a year. He didn’t embarrass himself on the ice, and he managed to score at a pace that makes sense given the team’s inability to score and his position on it.
It is difficult to set expectations for the young left wing next season. His production should be the starting point, honestly; it’s a contract year for Sheary, and an important one at that. He was worth $3 million last season, but was he worth more? Probably not. Is he worth more than that to this Sabres team? Again...probably not. Hopefully he can catch fire and give Jason Botterill something to consider next summer when Sheary will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time.
Season Grade: C+
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