SUN Hockey Pool

Press boxes and practice pucks for Conks

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

COLUMBUS -- Play me or trade me is a common demand in sports circles, but Ty Conklin didn't ask for either at the deadline.

And he's getting neither after a move to get Dwayne Roloson, he and Jussi Markkanen have been relegated to backup status.

"Back to the three goalie thing,'' said Conklin, who rejoined the team in Columbus yesterday after being assigned to Hartford two days before the trade deadline.

"Only this time, one guy I'm sure, is going to play the majority of them.''

That would be Roloson. Conklin, who didn't dress for last night's game, stuck around for extra shots in the morning skate.

That'll be the extent of his workload - sitting in the press box while Markkanen sits on the bench, or sitting on the bench while Markkanen sits in the press box. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, starts will be few.

"I'm going to keep them both in the loop in terms of backing up,'' said head coach Craig MacTavish.

"Maybe not switch that up every game, but both will see time backing up. I don't have any plans not to play Dwayne right now, but when that time does arise, we'll see who we feel is best prepared to play.

"It's a difficult situation, three goaltenders, but they've handled it very professionally.

''They don't like it, but it is what it is and we have to deal with it. Every once in a while they get frustrated. It's understandable.''

It's a far cry from the starting job Conklin had to start the season.

"It's been a tough year,'' he shrugged. "You just have to find your niche and your way to contribute.''

A fresh start with a new team might have been best for everyone, but Conklin wasn't hoping to be moved.

"Not really. I wasn't sitting there crossing my fingers or anything. I'd obviously like to be playing, but it's exciting to still be with this team.

''Everybody's excited about the changes. It'll be fun. There are a lot of games in a short period of time, so I'm sure (Roloson) will need a break.''

All of this, of course, comes at a time when Conklin was playing his best hockey of the season. Three straight starts netted him two wins and an overtime point.

"It's a little tough, but at the same time it wasn't a surprise,'' he said. "There's been talk about it, for the most part, since pre-season.''


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