The Tribune Review’s Rob Rossi broke the news about a half an hour ago — the Penguins have opted not to tender Tyler Kennedy, thus making him an unrestricted free agent on Friday afternoon. This is an interesting turn of events to say the least.
Though the team could feasibly still sign Kennedy, it likely signals the end of his time in Pittsburgh. It also shows that he and his representation have an inflated view of his worth…at least more so than that of Penguins’ General Manager Ray Shero.
Though this move comes as a slight shock to me, it opens the door for getting a deal done with Pascal Dupuis. It also shines a slightly brighter light on the possible signing of Jaromir Jagr. Would Shero have allowed Kennedy to potentially walk for virtually nothing had he not gotten an assurance that Jagr was legit in wanting to sign with the team? Time will tell.
If nothing else the move cries out that the team is open to the possibility of entering next season with the likes of Eric Tangradi and Nick Johnson on their NHL roster. Both of which showed that they could be ready for prime time last season.
It is worth noting that the Florida Panthers were just in a very similar position with RFA Niklas Bergfors and allowed the youngsters to waltz into unrestricted free agency. Moves like these are certainly going to become more commonplace in a cap driven league, even one that has seen that cap rise in each year of its existence.
Stay tuned for more soon…