On October 1, 2007, no one (including Conklin himself) could have predicted a [successful] stint in The Show, let alone a Winter Classic showdown to remember. But Ty Conklin answered the call when Fleury went down, and will eternally have a place in Pittsburgh for his outstanding play in the Ice Bowl. Now negotiations commence - do you let Conklin slip away as a starter for another team, or do you keep him as a backup to play second fiddle to Marc-Andre Fleury (implying Fleury re-signs)?
2007-2008 Regular season stats
The goaltending situation in Pittsburgh was a testy area at the beginning of the season. Starter Marc-Andre Fleury was struggling to find his game, while backup Dany Sabourin wasn't exactly playing at peak performance. So when Fleury went down with a high ankle sprain in early December, there was a lack of valor from fans to the team in terms of a Fleury replacement.
Thanks to some lateral movements in the system, with minor leaguers John Curry and David Brown filling in at Wilkes-Barre Scranton, Ty Conklin made his jump to The Show and officially made a name for himself in the NHL.
From December 23 through January 14, the Penguins went on a 19-point, 9-0-1 run with Conklin at the helm. The only overtime loss came at the stick of the Thrashers' Mark Recchi, who was coincidentally released from the Penguins only a few weeks before.
Considering the name Conklin built for himself during the 2007/08 season, and price tag especially, does he stand a chance at all in returning to the team next season? Keep in mind the Penguins are still currently in arbitration with Marc-Andre Fleury and Dany Sabourin is locked-up till the end of the 08/09 season. The market value on Sabourin may not be high enough to trade him away for eligible cap space that could be used to keep Conklin around as a healthy and competent backup.
Personally, I think Conk is as good as gone. What say you?