Things we know: Bucky Gleason <3 Tim Kennedy
I mean, it was set up perfectly. Sabres host the Rangers on Saturday night. The Buffalo News runs “Inside the NHL” on Sundays. Then the lineups were announced last night, and the intelligent Sabres fans collectively let out a sigh of relief. Because we’d all be thinking the same thing:
“At least we don’t have to worry about another stupid Bucky Gleason column about Tim Kennedy.”
But, here we are.
Why the Buffalo News seems to think it’s a good idea by letting their sports department run continually regurgitated, bleeding-heart columns run in their paper is beyond me. We, as Sabres fans, are sick of it already. I hope the rest of Sabres Nation doesn’t mind me speaking for them, but the ones who agree with Bucky tend to be the ignorant type who don’t know things like what league Mark Pysyk plays in (WHL), or knows who Mark Pysyk is (our 1st round pick this year)… or can spell “Pysyk.”
I’ll let the self-appointed leader of discontent take it away:
The past two months have been difficult for Kennedy, much worse than he ever envisioned. He has been waived twice since he was awarded $1 million in arbitration. Sabres fans who watched him go unclaimed snickered, concluding management made the right decision when buying out his contract and releasing him.
Kennedy could have been picked up by any team for $550,000. The Sabres could have claimed him and paid him $716,666, including his buyout for this year. It would have been less than they offered him over the summer and effectively put the bullets back in the gun. They passed.
Clearing waivers at $1 million was one thing but passing through again at almost half price appeared to be a troubling indictment. But like many things, it wasn’t that simple.
Perhaps other teams were satisfied with their rosters and wanted to keep players with whom they were familiar. Or stronger teams had salary-cap issues and weaker teams had an overage of third-line players. Or teams across the NHL silently applauded the Sabres’ stance when it came to young players and arbitration.
Perhaps Kennedy, under further examination, isn’t good enough to own a nightly spot in the lineup. Ever think of that Bucky? It’s beyond comprehension how Bucky can continually rip the Sabres for this situation when every sign points to them making the right decision. Sure, Kennedy played a lot last season. So did Adam Mair. Are either worth a million? Of course not. They’re barely worth an NHL contract, as proved by their current situations.
Yeah, we know he’s a South Buffalo guy. Sucks for him to not have the chance to play for his hometown team anymore. That was his choice when he took the team to arbitration. The ramifications for that were always lurking. Blame your agent for giving you shitty advice, blame yourself for taking it.
Bucky was, using his favorite word for management, vindictive when Regier spoke to the press after the move was made. It was expected. Bucky doesn’t let things go, as we know by reading the crap he puts out.
And he tries hammering the Sabres for going back on their own claims:
Regier insisted he wasn’t being vindictive, that Kennedy was sent on his way with $333,333 over the next two years because they were shocked by the award. He said they would keep 22 players on the roster, one fewer than the maximum, to overcome the buyout and adhere to their budget.
Funny, because the Sabres have 23 players on their roster because they are carrying eight defensemen. And they are spending more because they dumped Kennedy than if they’d kept him. Nathan Gerbe is making $850,000 and was scratched for the opener. Add Kennedy’s buyout, broken down to $166,667 this year and next, and they’re still spending $1.016 million for a forward.
True, the situation is magnified because Kennedy is a Buffalo kid, his battle was with the Buffalo Sabres. But when the Sabres spend more to get less, it’s an issue whether he’s from Buffalo or Bermuda. It’s bad business.
Well, there’s a big difference here, Buck. Nathan Gerbe’s got himself a two-way contract, and is waiver exempt. The team can send him down whenever they like. They also don’t have to pay him his NHL salary when that happens. So they can sit at 22 players whenever they want. If they would’ve kept Kennedy, he’d be sitting in the press box for $1 million and they’d have zero roster flexibility.
With Gerbe’s performance Saturday night, I can’t imagine that move would be too far behind. And is a movable Gerbe worth an extra 16 grand more than an unmovable Kennedy? Arguably, yes. Especially when Kennedy can’t crack the Rangers lineup. With rookies like Derek Stepan who don’t seem like they’re going to come out of the lineup and injuries to players like Chris Drury opening up spots, Tim Kennedy is in the press box. And he’s making a lot less money that the Sabres offered him. Gleason was able to spell out the case as to exactly why the Sabres made the right move, and still ended up trying to make a point that it was a bad move.
Tim got his dream, to play for the Sabres. But blaming Darcy Regier and company for his poor decision to throw away his chance to continue that dream at this point is tired and useless.
In the final analysis, who benefited?
You wanna know who feels sad for Tim Kennedy?
Except maybe you, Bucky. Give it a rest.