Buffalo Sabres restricted free agent Tim Kennedy won a $1 million reward in arbitration today according to the NHLPA. The amount is significant because according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and confirmed by NHL super agent Allan Walsh, the amount needed for a team to walk away from an arbitration award is $1,570,260. This means that Kennedy is back with the Sabres whether they want to keep him or not and if they wish to move him it’ll have to be through a trade.
The amount makes it a significant raise for the young forward. Last season Kennedy made $625,000 while putting up 10 goals and 16 assists and 50 penalty minutes in 78 games for the Sabres. If you asked me, keeping him at $625,000 would’ve been about the right thing to do, but there’s probably a good reason why I’m not an arbitrator. Paying a million dollars for a forward that contributes 26 points in a season seems like a tremendous overpayment and sets a terrifying precedent for teams involved in other arbitration cases this year. After all, if Kennedy is worth a million, who’s to say what someone else with larger numbers won’t get an even scarier raise.
Then again, this might just be the norm for the year. After all, if Clarke MacArthur was able to win $2.4 million in arbitration (which the Thrashers walked away from), perhaps all of our views are skewed as to how this process actually works.