28-Year-Old Left Wing – Free Agent
Tyler Kennedy Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2015.
Kennedy is expected to serve as a healthy scratch for the Islanders in Thursday's game against the Blue Jackets, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
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Tyler Kennedy: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Kennedy had a slow season in 2012-13, with six goals and five assists in 46 games in the Igloo in Pittsburgh. But the June 30 trade to San Jose and his subsequent two-year contract signing leaves the door open for new beginnings in the Western Conference. Kennedy has shown in past years that he has the potential to put points on the board, averaging over a half-point per game in the previous four seasons. And he seems to be a logical center for the third line, which may also feature Raffi Torres and Tommy Wingels (though Torres could be moving up to first or second line). Putting two physical forwards on the wings for the 5-11 center could be a magic combination to reignite his scoring touch. Still, temper your expectations though -- his upside is 45-50 points if he really clicks, but his downside is equally as dramatic ... especially as there isn't yet any clarity on where he will play given the number of young centers fighting for a roster spot this year. And young players are cheap gold to an NHL general manager. UPDATE: Now that it appears very likely that Kennedy will be playing wing on either Joe Thornton or Logan Couture's line, his fantasy value is on the rise. Playing in either spot means that Kennedy is starting the season on a line that will produce a lot of offense. His chances of having a rebound season are improving.
Kennedy went from top dog -- due to injuries -- in the second half of 2010-11 back to afterthought. He signed a two-year deal last summer and seemed poise to up his game. That didn't happen. He scored 11 goals in 60 games after netting a career-high 21 in 80 contests the year before. When Penguins coach Dan Bylsma discussed possible top-six wingers for Sidney Crosby over the summer, he sounded unenthusiastic about Kennedy. Nevertheless, the diminutive forward is playing for his next contract and has shown the ability to average a half point-per-game. After five years with center Jordan Staal, Kennedy will work to find chemistry with Brandon Sutter, but Kennedy also could become a trade candidate.
Kennedy had a breakout season of sorts in 2010-11, compiling a career-best 21 goals and 45 points in 80 contests. Pittsburgh re-signed the 25-year-old winger to a two-year deal in the offseason, leaving the only question as to where he will play. The combination of Kennedy, Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke has given Pittsburgh a third line that matches up well against whatever opponents throw at them. Kennedy, however, may get a chance to see what he can do as a top-six forward. He also might become a regular on the man advantage, as his seven power-play goals ranked second on the team after both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin went down with injuries. Kennedy's shot-taking total (234) is an underrated aspect of his fantasy game. He's worth considering as a late-round draft pick in fantasy leagues.
Kennedy took a step back in his play in 2009-10. Limited due to leg and groin injuries, Kennedy never looked comfortable and his point total fell from 35 in 67 games to 25 in 64. Four of the diminutive forward’s 13 goals proved to be game-winners, but he served as a healthy scratch on occasion and went pointless in 10 playoff contests. Kennedy’s best fantasy success has come as a third-line winger. The line of Kennedy, Jordan Staal, and Matt Cooke lost some of its luster last season. Heading into 2010-11, coach Dan Bylsma has hinted that Staal will team with Evgeni Malkin on a reconfigured No. 2 line. Kennedy will have to fight his way back into the spotlight as a third- or even fourth-line player. He’ll be healthy and has 40-point potential, but a slow start could put the pressure on Pittsburgh to search for alternative solutions.
Kennedy, 23, scored 19 points (10, 9) in 55 games as a rookie two seasons ago and then totaled 35 (15, 20) in 67 contests last year. Along with Staal and Matt Cooke, the ex-centerman forms the team's third unit, one of the team's distinct advantages. Kennedy saw time with Crosby in 2008-09, but he seems to grip the stick a lot looser on the third line. Perhaps that will change at some point. If it does, then the upside for Kennedy and his fantasy owners would be huge. If not, he's still a nice end-game pickup who could collect 40-plus points in 2009-10.
Kennedy is the kind of unheralded, over-achieving little sparkplug that makes it easy to root for him. The 22-year-old center finished with 19 points (10, 9) in 55 games, including an impressive four game-winners. The team will be happy if he puts up somewhere between 30 and 40 points over the course of the 2008-09 campaign.