Waiving could be lucky break for Kennedy

(WECK 1230) — Tim Kennedy won’t make his million this year, inking a one-year deal for $550k with the New York Rangers this weekend.

While the move could find him in the minors after a poor year, you’d have a better bet that he’ll make a lot more jack come a somewhat successful year for the Broadway Blueshirts.

Kennedy has made big strides during his second year at every level he’s played (He did not see a second year in the American League). While the NHL is the best of the best, you’d be hard-pressed to convince me Kennedy couldn’t do it in 2010-11. He went from 19 to 61 points with Sioux City, followed by a 19 to 43 point jump at Michigan State.

Kennedy’s offensive numbers suffered during his rookie year thanks to an ill-advised position switch to center, but the diminutive forward broke out of a massive slump late in the year, posting four goals and four assists in his final 15 games. He posted three points in the Sabres’ first-round loss to Boston and, save for one crucial embarrassment versus vet Mark Recchi, was identifiable on the ice (something that couldn’t be said for all of the team’s forwards).

I’d expect Kennedy to have a Peter Mueller-esque year without the first-round status. Line him up for around 15 goals and 30 assists providing he gets time with real forwards and not Derek Boogaard.

Some in the media will contend that Kennedy walked himself out of town by asking for money the Sabres clearly didn’t want to give him, and there’s a bit of truth to that. As we saw with Clarke MacArthur, arbiters didn’t have a real grasp on the whole “hockey” thing this year. As for the Sabres, let’s hope the depth Darcy Regier thinks he has is legit.

Email: nickonweck@gmail.com

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2 Responses to Waiving could be lucky break for Kennedy

  1. Remember for Clarke that Atlanta didn’t contest his award, so he got whatever his camp asked for. Most likely the award would’ve been lower if they had tried to negotiate (did it on purpose so they wouldn’t get stuck like the Sabres did, from what I understand).

  2. Not sure the comparisons to juniors and NCAA can or should apply here – offensive players are always supposed to show increases in production at those levels due to the relatively strict age range/limits. i.e. as your age increases in relative value to the rest of the league, you should be dominating.

    For example in juniors you have an age limit of 20; occasionally you’ll see an undrafted ~19/20 yr old suddenly put up huge numbers at the junior level and some people will wonder why they were either never drafted or not given a quality free agent contract – usually it’s because a 20 yr old dominating a league comprised of mostly ~17/18yr olds isn’t that impressive unless they’ve been doing it all along. At least in the CHL teams are limited to just 3 20 year olds – “overagers.”

    My belabored point being I suppose that Kennedy was supposed to make those leaps in the USHL and NCAA. Not a knock against him, but it shows no proof in and of itself that he would make a/the similar leap in the NHL.