Penguins Q&A with Dave Molinari
Share with others:
Q: If Tyler Kennedy doesn't make the team this year, will he be traded in order to give him a chance to play in the NHL for another team?
Bruce Smail, Richards Landing, Ontario
MOLINARI: No. Not even close. Kennedy is an NHL-caliber talent, regardless of where he starts this season, and at age 21 he's hardly in the twilight of his career, so it's not as if general manager Ray Shero would deal Kennedy to give him a final opportunity to live the dream of playing in the NHL someday.
Kennedy does not have to clear waivers to go to the American Hockey League, which means that management might well return him to the Penguins' farm team in Wilkes-Barre rather than sending down an older player who might be claimed by another club.
That reality certainly raises the odds against Kennedy being on the Penguins' opening-night roster when they visit Carolina Oct. 5, but he didn't hurt his chances any during their 5-2 exhibition victory in Montreal Tuesday. He not only scored a goal, but when Montreal's Guillaume Latendresse cheap-shotted Ryan Whitney, shoving him face-first into the boards from behind, Kennedy immediately went after Latendresse. He picked up an instigating minor for his trouble, but undoubtedly got the attention of management and the respect of his teammates at the same time.
Q: Now that Sidney Crosby has the "C" on his sweater, who gets the two "A's?" I assume Mark Recchi will keep his. Does Sergei Gonchar also keep one, or do they maybe give it to Gary Roberts?
MOLINARI: The Penguins haven't announced anything, but it's hard to image that Recchi or Gonchar will lose his alternate captaincy. Of course, it still is hard to understand why Michel Therrien stripped John LeClair of his "A" and gave it to Crosby shortly after he took over as coach two seasons ago, so it might not be wise to rule out anything just yet.
Still, it would seem that Roberts would get an alternate captaincy only if Therrien decided he wanted one alternate to serve both at home and on the road, one to wear the "A" just at home and another to do it strictly on the road. That was the set-up last season, when Recchi was an alternate for 82 games, LeClair did it on the road (until he reached a buyout agreement with the Penguins) and Gonchar had the "A" only at home before inheriting LeClair's duties on the road partway through the season.
First Published September 20, 2007 12:00 am