Monday, July 1, 2013

Letang deal not official, Kennedy confused by trade

By Jeff

Just when it sounded like the Kris Letang deal was done, Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review reports that there is a bit of a hiccup. Apparently, Letang and his camp want some kind of agreement that the Pens won't trade him next summer.

This sounds like a very minor disagreement and it's doubtful the deal falls apart on account of it. Here's a thought for Letang. Don't suck in the playoffs next season and you'll pretty much guarantee that you won't be traded. How about the Pens agree not to trade him if he promises not to pinch in the first minute of a game and he will not try to pass the puck out of the zone through the middle from behind the net. Let's get it done.

In other Pens news, Tyler Kennedy is gone. The third-line winger was sent to San Jose for a second-round pick. And Kennedy is very confused about why he was moved and why he didn't get more ice-time in the playoffs.

"I thought I had a great playoff, and I'm kind of stumped. I'm really kind of lost why they didn't play me more," Kennedy told the San Jose Mercury. "I think I'm a great player, and I'm not sure. You'd have to ask them, I really don't know."

One thing you can say about Kennedy is he has never lacked confidence. Sometimes you get the idea that he thinks he is a star in this league. Unfortunately for him, and the Pens, he is not a star. Skating down the right wing and slapping the puck into the goalie's chest or skating around the net doesn't make you a great player.

At the time, there are some great memories of Kennedy as well. When Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin had season ending injuries halfway through the 2010-2011 season, Kennedy stepped up and provided the offensive spark the Pens needed to make the playoffs. He had a career high 21 goals and looked like he was ready to break out. But that season was the exception and not the rule when it came to Kennedy, as he regressed back to being Tyler Kennedy the past two seasons.

The other fond memory of Kennedy is his goal in Game 4 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals. The whole play was a thing of beauty and Kennedy was a big part of it.

While that 2010-2011 season and that Stanley Cup goal were great moments for Kennedy, he didn't have enough of them. The consistency was never there and that $2 million salary could be used to help sign Pascal Dupuis. Moving Kennedy was the right thing to do.

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