Dave’s Dish is a segment that will pop up occasionally. All posts in the “Dave’s Dish” series are written by a friend of mine, Dave Sanna. He is a fellow Western NewYork-er and as die hard a Sabres fan as they come. Consider “Dave’s Dish” a place for a regular fan (just like you!) to release some opinion and analysis on the happenings of the Sabres. Enjoy!
Tim Kennedy was bought out yesterday by the Buffalo Sabres, ending a one year career on his hometown team. This comes one week after an arbitration ruling of 1 million dollars. This deal was matched by the Sabres because the club could not walk away from the deal. This is due to the fact that the amount of the contract was not high enough. In other words, had the contract been worth 1.6 million dollars or more, the club could have walked away. The ruling comes after a 10 goal, 26 point season for number 13 which was his rookie season. While Kennedy wasn’t a top 6 forward, he seemed to be one of the players that the club was building around for the future. In passing waivers, the Sabres will buy him out for $333,000, 1/3 of his current contract. This move is shocking considering the practice of keeping their own, and developing from within the organization.
Darcy Regier had a press conference yesterday in which he discussed Kennedy. He told the media members, to paraphrase, that choices were made from the time of the original qualifying offer (of $605,000 and a 2 way contract, according to Regier) to arbitration and then to yesterday, which eventually led us to where we are today with Kennedy being released. The move is not a shock to Kennedy, as Kennedy’s agent spoke with WGR 550’s Howard Simon saying that Kennedy was aware that he could be bought out by the club. In fact, the difference between the Sabres contract offer and the arbitration offer to Kennedy is a lot less than the $333,000 buyout.
In terms of the present, Regier says that the team is currently over his projected budget for the upcoming year. After Kennedy’s award, Regier, Larry Quinn, Lindy Ruff, and the rest of the scouting staff were able to re-evaluate the roster, team and where their resources are going. In buying out Kennedy, the team is actually saving $700,000, according to Regier. Regier claims that to replace Kennedy, the team will look at Tyler Ennis, who scored 9 points in 10 games last season and in the playoffs, or outside the organization. All this comes on the same day and one day after the club signs defenseman Shaone Morrisonn to a 2 yr/2.075 million dollar contract.
As for Tim, I’ll be sorry to see him go. He was born and raised in South Buffalo, went to Bishop Timon/St. Jude High School, and lived every kid’s’ dream: to play for their hometown team. Despite being from the area and living here (and only scoring 26 points last season) this goes back to the idea that hockey (like all sports) is a business. Tim had a “polite disappointment,” according to Regier, and I would expect nothing less from him. So good luck Tim and thanks for the memories.
…I’ll always remember how you got Recch’d in BeanTown.