By TIOPS Staff
Veteran agent Steven Bartlett hit the airways this afternoon, appearing on 937 The Fan in the 2:00 p.m. hour.
Radio host Joe Starkey first posed the question to Barlett about why Kennedy would not take the rare opportunity of hitting the open market at age 24:
“Ultimately he may, ” Bartlett told the Fan.
“Right now our focus is trying to get a player who wants to be in Pittsburgh done and the team has made it clear to us, they would like him back, ” Bartlett said.
“We’re not able to talk to other teams right now and plan is to stay on the path of trying to get something done ” Bartlett said.
On the Penguins not making a qualifying offer:
“It certainly something they indicated they might do, ” Barlett said. “Wasn’t a total shock.”
Bartlett on negotiations:
“Good faith effort, we haven’t stopped talks, ” Bartlett said. “We’re continuing to negotiate in good faith.” — TIOPS Staff
DePaoli’s Take: I’ve dealt with Bartlett on a several fronts over the past couple years since getting into this business, especially quite often of late with Kennedy and I feel he is being truthful in that he’s trying to get a deal done with the Penguins.
However, Bartlett has been around the game for 20+ years and he’s knows the rare opportunity Kennedy has in front of him.
Unless the Penguins show an interest in offering over $2 million per season for the first time this off-season, it’s still hard to imagine Kennedy not testing the open market.
Sense around the league is any deal for Kennedy from the Penguins is going to cost 2 years – $4 million and under that scenario Kennedy would be making some concessions.
Also of note: Kennedy’s camp needs to try to keep the Penguins in the mix even if he hits the open market.