Shortly after his trade to the Ottawa Senators today for goaltender Ben Bishop, former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher spoke with Sports Talk Florida about the trade, his reaction, and the fact that he will be back in town next week to take on his new former team in Tampa before he took off to catch up with his new team.
“Obviously there are highs and lows,” Conacher said of his emotions after the trade. “Tampa has been an organization that has done so much for me, and given me such a good opportunity to play here. I loved the fans, I loved the city, I loved everything about Tampa. At the same time, Ottawa has given me a fresh start. They are a team that wanted me really bad. I want to go to a team that really wants me. It’s going to be so fun to go there. I am excited to go to a team like Ottawa because they are on the up rise right now. They have a lot of young guys, and they have a lot of experienced veteran guys, so I think I will fit in just right there and I am excited to go there tonight and meet all the new guys.”
Conacher was not really on anyone’s radar as a trade candidate as the deadline approached, so the move today did catch him off guard.
“I was definitely shocked when I found out the news,” Conacher said. “At the same time, I knew, because there are so many young guys that have made a difference in this organization, there are more down in Syracuse that can make a difference, I knew they would have to get rid of one or two, or a couple of them to try to change things up. I knew Ben Bishop was on Tampa Bay’s radar and I guess I was on Ottawa’s radar. I was obviously shocked, but at the same time, not so surprised. Like I said, I am definitely excited to go to Ottawa. It is going to be so tough for me to leave Tampa because they have done so much for me, but it is going to be fun for me for a new start, and to play back in Tampa in a couple days and see how that is.”
The Ottawa Senators pay a visit to the Tampa Bay Times Forum next Tuesday to take on the Lightning, and Conacher said it will be weird facing off against his former teammates.
“It’s going to be that weird feeling where you didn’t expect to be on the other side of the bench,” Conacher said of playing against his former team. “At the same time, it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be fun to play against the guys you have played with the past couple of years, to get the chance to see them again. It’s obviously really tough having to leave them. To at least be able to see them every once in a while when we play them is good. I have good relationships with a lot of the guys on the team, and that is probably going to be one of the hardest things, to lose guys you kind of started relationships with. I am sure there are a lot more guys in Ottawa that I will do the same with. There are positives and negatives to the trade, and right now I think there are a lot of positives, and I am going to take it as it is, and go have fun in Ottawa.”