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30 in 15: Kennedy Seeking Revival in San Jose

Wednesday, 09.25.2013 / 2:34 PM / 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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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 47 31 10 6 139 124 68
2 NSH 45 30 10 5 137 104 65
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 48 26 14 8 135 117 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 45 26 16 3 124 114 55
8 CGY 47 25 19 3 136 125 53
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 48 20 18 10 125 137 50
11 DAL 46 21 18 7 144 151 49
12 MIN 46 20 20 6 128 137 46
13 ARI 46 16 25 5 105 156 37
14 EDM 47 12 26 9 109 158 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 48 24 18 10 42
L. Couture 48 18 24 2 42
J. Thornton 44 10 27 0 37
B. Burns 48 11 24 -6 35
P. Marleau 48 9 24 -10 33
T. Wingels 47 11 14 -2 25
J. Braun 47 1 18 4 19
T. Hertl 48 8 9 -2 17
M. Vlasic 47 6 10 13 16
J. Sheppard 42 4 9 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 19 11 5 .912 2.57
A. Stalock 5 5 1 .905 2.65
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