Photo Credit: Pensburgh commenter PensAreYourDaddy
"All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talents." - John F. Kennedy....Kennedy
Season stats: 64 gp, 13g, 12a, 25p, +10, 31 PIMs
Playoff stats: 10 gp, 0g, 0a, 0p, -6, 2 PIMs
Month-by-month Pensburgh grades:
Contract status: Signed through 2010-11 season ($735,000 cap hit)...Restricted free agent summer 2011
Interesting stat: Before going on the IR for a groin injury that cost him to miss 13 of 14 games in late October/November, Tyler Kennedy had 6 goals in 11 games played and was averaging 3.45 shots/game. When he returned November 30th through the end of the playoffs, Kennedy scored just 7 goals in 63 games played and averaged just 2.5 shots/game.
The Good: As noted above, TK got off to that quick start and showed a lot of production before suffering a groin injury that also flared up in March. Who knows how much that affected his season, but injuries can't really be used as an excuse if a player is able to take the ice.
Kennedy fits well with Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke on the 3rd line, he's good along the boards, chasing loose pucks and playing his position. He's a shooter too, often throwing pucks at the net from any type of angle/distance when he gets the chance. His Corsi ON was only bested by Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby among regular Penguin forwards.
The Not-so-good: As stated in the JFK quote above, the opportunities haven't been too numerous for Tyler, who played 12:34 a game this season. Of that, only 0:17 a game was on the power-play and almost ALL of that was just bits and pieces of tail-end work. TK also played short-handed a whopping 0:17 seconds all season. The guy doesn't get any special teams play, and it's tough to put up numbers playing about 12 minutes a night at regular strength.
When a player doesn't get much time, it's usually because there are better options. As spelled out, Kennedy didn't produce much after his early season injury, which isn't exactly a good reason for a coach to play a player.
Final verdict: Kennedy had a terrible post-season. Whether or not that can be attributed to injuries is one story, but the simple fact is 0 points in 10 games with a -6 means he produced nothing and saw too many pucks go in the net while out there. Disappointing season for a player.
If you throw out the 240 NHL reg. season + playoff games Kennedy has, what does he bring to the table that perhaps a prospect like Dustin Jeffrey, Nick Johnson, Mark Letestu or Eric Tangradi could to a 3rd/4th line at the NHL? TK's spot in Pittsburgh is safe for next season, but he's definitely playing for his Penguin career next season.
Question and Discussion: Can Tyler Kennedy stay healthy and be a productive long-term member of the team? Or does his injury history, lack of size and lack of real production probably see him leave the team sooner than later? Would you let TK get a chance with some PP time to see if he could score more, or has the team about played him correctly?