30 in 15: Kennedy Seeking Revival in San Jose

Wednesday, 09.25.2013 / 11:34 AM PT / News
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30 in 15: Kennedy Seeking Revival in San Jose
In Pittsburgh, Tyler Kennedy\u2019s career was in danger of flaming out. Now that he has joined the Sharks, it might be poised to rise from the ashes.

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

In Pittsburgh, Tyler Kennedy’s career was in danger of flaming out. Now that he has joined the San Jose Sharks, it might be poised to rise from the ashes.

Last season, Kennedy managed six goals and 11 points in 46 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Those numbers continued the statistical decline from his career year in 2010-11, during which he scored 21 goals and 45 points. On a team featuring NHL stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (both carrying outsized contracts) Kennedy entered the 2013 offseason a restricted free agent with an uncertain future.

It just so happened that around the same time, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson was looking for another forward to help take their north-south, up-tempo attack to the next level. Wilson liked what he saw in Kennedy, a player known for his pace, ferocity and knack for scoring important goals. On a team with lines in flux up and down the top nine, Wilson also valued Kennedy’s flexibility over six seasons in Pittsburgh.

On draft day, Wilson traded the No. 50 pick to get Kennedy, and promptly signed him to a two-year contract.

"We've done a lot of research on him," Wilson told the Sharks' website. "He's the type of guy that he's won a Cup, he's a very competitive guy, he's been able to go up and down the lineup which is one of the things we were looking for, players that can play a third line role but also go up to the second or the first. Shoots the puck, highly competitive, and he's a high-energy guy too. He practices the way he plays. It drives people to be better."

Kennedy is poised to see major minutes on a top line with San Jose, even more so now that his chief competition – wings Marty Havlat and Raffi Torres – will likely both start the season on the injured reserve. So far in training camp, Kennedy has skated mostly on a line centered by Joe Thornton, a player who remains one of the League’s premier passers, and Brent Burns, a converted defenseman unafraid to clear space in the offensive zone.

"I'm excited to be with those guys," Kennedy said. "They're two great players, and it's a great opportunity. Obviously I think I can play, but it's a great challenge and I've got to work and prove myself. It's a great challenge for me."

Author: Davis Harper | NHL.com Staff Writer

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 37 33 12 70
L. Couture 82 27 40 -6 67
J. Thornton 78 16 49 -4 65
B. Burns 82 17 43 -9 60
P. Marleau 82 19 38 -17 57
T. Wingels 75 15 21 -7 36
T. Hertl 82 13 18 -5 31
M. Nieto 72 10 17 -12 27
M. Karlsson 53 13 11 -3 24
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 31 23 7 .914 2.59
A. Stalock 8 9 2 .902 2.62
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