Buffalo Sabres' Tim Kennedy will be logging onto Sabres.com to take you inside the life of an NHL prospect. Kennedy signed with the team on June 1 after completing his junior season with Michigan State. The Buffalo native led the Spartans in scoring for the second consecutive season, tying his career-best with 43 points (20+23) in 42 games.
After I signed with the Buffalo Sabres, the next few days were pretty crazy. It seemed like the phone was constantly ringing off the hook with people just calling to say congratulations.
It was nice to have people show support but at the same time it was also a little hard to call everybody back and say thank you. There were so many people and you don’t want to be rude and forget anybody. It was a long few days after that but it was exciting at the same time.
Now it’s starting to sink in though- that it’s real now. I’m a professional athlete, I’m not in college anymore. I’m not a kid and I have to take this seriously.
That all begins with training for next season.
My summer routine has kind of been the same as it has in years past. I’m working out at HSBC Arena every day and skating two or three times a week. I am probably spending about five hours each day just working out.
The Sabres Strength and Conditioning Coach Doug McKenney has been working a lot with me, helping me along. I’ve actually worked out with Doug for the past six years though.
Before I was drafted by the Sabres he did a camp at Buffalo State. I worked out with him there and the past few years here at HSBC Arena after that.
He has really been focused on improving my strength and speed this summer, so there are new lifts and some new circuit routines that we didn’t do last year. Other than that it’s basically the same workout. It just gets harder every year because he adds new elements to it.
The one thing that has changed since I’ve signed with the Sabres is the number of people that recognize me.
Well, sort of.
I look a lot like the Chicago Blackhawks’ forward Pat Kane so when I’m in South Buffalo, where he is originally from, a lot of people come up and ask me are you Pat Kane? Or are you Tim Kennedy?
I was getting some of that before I signed but now it’s happening more and more.
I’ve known Pat forever and he said the same thing happens to him sometimes. Actually I think he gets mad when they ask him if he’s Tim Kennedy because he’s the NHL Rookie of the Year! I would get mad if I were him too.
I just laugh and say ‘no, I’m not Pat’ when they ask me. I just tell them I’m Tim. But it is funny. We do look alike I guess.
But that is something that’s going to take a little getting used to I guess. It is weird when I’m out to eat at little restaurants and people just sit and stare.
So far, though, there are way more positives than negatives- even just being able to work out with the guys over the summer.
Derek Whitmore, Mike Funk and Drew Schiestel are all here working out. Then guys like Nathan Paetsch, Adam Mair, Daniel Paille and Patrick Kaleta come in as well.
I’ve talked to those guys for the past few summers. They are all great and tell you what to expect, what’s going to happen. That helps to know what you are up against and you have guys giving you a heads up on how to prepare- especially now with the development camp coming up.
It’s a hard week but just seeing everyone is going to be great. Guys like Nathan Gerbe, Chris Butler and Andrew Orpik will all be there, and I really haven’t seen them much since last summer.
We’re all good friends so it will be good to meet up with them again as well as meeting the new guys- everyone who was recently drafted and signed.
I think this is where you start to try to form a bond with your teammates and get a sense of unity. I’m looking forward to it and it should be a fun week.
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