BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – Sabres forward Cory Conacher is often called the honey badger.
“Even though the honey badger is small, he battled with the big things in the animal life, Conacher explained. “I guess that’s how I play hockey.”
The challenges in Conacher’s life started early. He was born with Bladder exstrophy, a disease where the bladder is essentially outside the body. At three years old, surgery caused him to forget how to walk. At age 8, Conacher was diagnosed with diabetes.
“I consider it more of a challenge than a disease,” Conacher explained. “Right now I am on a pump and a sensor.”
Conacher never has excuses, only results. He is the most decorated hockey player out of Canisius College. Despite his diminutive 5’8 size, he scored 11 goals his rookie year in the NHL.
“You got to be fearless,” Conacher said. “If you are not big, you have to play big.”
What Conacher lacks in size, he makes up for in heart and tenacity.
“I always try to tell the kids to dream big,” Conacher stated. “You can throw in the towel pretty quick. It is a lot easier to give up than it is to battle through things. But as long as you have confidence in yourself and you believe in yourself and you don’t get distracted by the things other people are saying you can go a long way.”