Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kennedy Gets Voted Off the Island, Only to Return

Poor guy, Tim Kennedy.  The South Buffalo native was placed on waivers by the Rangers.  This, of course, followed his buyout from the Sabres after winning a $1 million arbitration award during the offseason.  The forward cleared waivers, so the Rangers can keep him around or send him down to AHL Hartford, but GM Glen Sather suggests the latter won't happen. The Sabres had a similar situation with Adam Mair last season, and Mair remained with the club.  It looks, as of today, like that will be the case, as Kennedy cleared waivers.  Moves like this are usually made in advance of a trade or roster pickup, and the Rangers maintained that this was about flexibility.  It had to be disconcerting for Kennedy, though, to face the possibility of relocating yet again after believing he had found a place in the NHL.

There was much hand-wringing among fans of the Sabres for letting the local kid Kennedy go, but the move seems to have been a non-factor for Buffalo.  Perhaps it's now even justified, as a second team has decided they could part with him, even though he comes at half the salary he was slated to earn in Buffalo.

Watchers of last year's playoffs saw a 24-year-old making good effort to be a two-way player with some upside, perhaps one of the few positives in a first-round smackdown from the Bruins.  Buffalo GM Darcy Regier saw a surplus of forwards and a bad precedent for a young player - despite a relatively small reported difference of a few hundred grand.  It's tough to say what went wrong with Tim Kennedy.  Says the Buffalo News' Mike Harrington:
I renew my point from the summer: Kennedy should have taken the Sabres' deal and shut his mouth, rather than going to arbitration. His agent did him no help on this one.
Still, it seems to me that if arbitration is contractually part of the game, using it to punish players isn't the best PR move. I'll root for the Sabres first and always, but a good part of me hopes Timmy lands on his feet and finds some success this season, with the Rangers or otherwise.

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