Not long after the Pittsburgh Penguins rid themselves of the Jaromir Jagr drama, they brought back forward Tyler Kennedy, signing the center to a two-year contract that will run through the 2012-13 season. The new deal will be worth $2 million per year.
Despite the fact that Kennedy was not given a qualifying offer, general manager Ray Shero said that the Penguins were still interested in signing him. He felt that Kennedy did not have unreasonable salary demands and that the team could work with him and his agent.
Kennedy just finished his fourth full season with the Penguins and had a career-year with 45 points. While he struggled with injuries in the past, he managed to play in 80 games this year. He also had three points in seven playoff games.
As the Penguins dealt with injuries to key forwards, Kennedy was called upon to handle an increased workload. He was sixth on the team with 17:32 of ice time in the postseason and seventh with 3:43 played on the power play. He was also second with a 66.7 percent faceoff win percentage and eighth with 16 hits.
Kennedy also proved his ability to come up big this season, scoring the Penguins' lone goal in a 2-1 regular season loss against the New Jersey Devils. He also had a game-winning overtime goal in a February matchup with the Colorado Avalanche.
He has had some of his best time with the Penguins while playing on a line with Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke. He is also a homegrown player, having played parts of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League.
He was drafted by the Penguins in the fourth round (99th overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft.
What are your thoughts on Kennedy staying in Pittsburgh for two more years?
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