Washington Capitals Free Agent Target: Tyler Kennedy

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals have had a pretty successful off-season. For the first time since 2010, the Washington Capitals have three strong forward lines (at least on paper). Now the Washington Capitals must focus on making very small tinkers to the rosters, optimizing it with depth for a Stanley Cup run. How much tinkering they will do depends mostly on how much cap space they have after re-signing Braden Holtby and Marcus Johansson. If they have the cap space, forward Tyler Kennedy could be an excellent addition to their bottom six. 

RELATED: Caps Are Changing Their Identity For The Best

Why Kennedy Could Be A Good Fit For The Caps

Tyler Kennedy is a forward who can’t seem to stay healthy. However, if he’s healthy, he could bring an element of offense to the bottom six that it lacked last season. While he hasn’t been a productive forward as far as points, there is something to be said about his ability to generate shot attempts. Over the past three seasons, among forwards who have at least 1500 minutes of ice time at five on five, Kennedy ranks favorably. 

  • Shots/60: 10.46 (10th)
  • iFenwick/60: 13.63 (17th)
  • iCorsi/60: 18.77 (ninth)

I think the Washington Capitals could use someone like that as a third or fourth line option. Plus, I believe that they have enough depth that if Kennedy can’t stay healthy, they have guys who can replace him. Not only is Kennedy a guy who can generate offense, he’s also pretty reliable at being a possession driver. In six of his eight NHL seasons (playoffs included), his teams have had a higher CorsiFor% with him on the ice at even strength than they have without him.

Another thing that could make him an attractive option for the Capitals is his versatility. He’s able to play either wing and he’s capable of taking face-offs, though he isn’t that good at them.

Why Kennedy Might Not Be The Best Fit For The Washington Capitals

As I said earlier, his health is a legitimate concern. Also, he has minimal time spent on the penalty kill. He has been good on the power play though.

The Caps are looking to add a bottom six forward. I imagine Kennedy is one of those options because of what he can bring to the table on offense and his versatility.

Shot generation numbers courtesy of Hockey Analysis. Possession stats courtesy of War-On-Ice.