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Random Miscellany

07/28/10
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While the offseason drags onward, I’ve found my blogging has slowed to 2010′s free agency pace – snail-like. But hey, it’s time to break this schneid and get to writin’! Let’s talk about Tim Kennedy’s arbitration, some more rookie holdouts at One Bills Drive, growing soccer in Buffalo, and good ole vinyl records.

The Curious Case Of Tim Kennedy’s Arbitration
Yesterday, Tim Kennedy’s agent and Darcy Regier each fed their side of the story to a salary arbitrator on what they think the 25-year-old winger (yea, I know, he really is 25) ought to be earning. Jay Gold believes Kennedy will earn “$900K+” while fans are afraid he’s going to get around $2M. I call shenanigans on that.

I’m going to come out right now and tell you to forget about what Clarke MacArthur was awarded. For one, it isn’t allowed as a comparable salary because the Thrashers walked away from the deal. For two, MacArthur was awarded what he got because he’s coming off of two 16+ goal and 30+ point seasons. He’d have three, but his 8 goals and 15 points were earned in only 37 NHL games in 07/08 (he would’ve scored 17 goals and 32 points if he played a full season). So he has a history of producing those numbers and thus his award can’t even be thought of as a spiritual comparable to Kennedy’s rookie year.

My ideal salary for Kennedy would be $1M. He’s only played one NHL season, has a ton of work to do on all aspects of his game, and didn’t even crack the big league until he was 1/4 of a century old. I’d expect him to get between $1.3M and $1.5M, which I’d be okay with I guess, but if he got anything around $2M I’d walk away. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow at the latest.

Another Training Camp, Another First-Round Holdout For Bills
Leading up to today, all the talk surrounding the Bills was that for the second year in a row, the team has had to endure their first-round draft pick holding out as training camp begins. In 2009 it was Aaron Maybin and this year it’s CJ Spiller. Spiller is a dynamic kid and could be the best back of the three the Bills currently employee, but an extended hold-out is something either party wants to be involved in. For the Bills, it means being without the talents of a game-changing running back. For Spiller, it means his skills get rusty and his popularity goes down the drain (The Maybin Effect).

With Buddy Nix announcing shortly ago that Torrell Troup has ended his hold-out, the only high-profile pick the Bills have left unsigned is Spiller. They need to get this taken care of.

Can Soccer Survive In Buffalo?
My answer? Yes, at least now. FC Buffalo is doing what the two previous men’s teams in Buffalo didn’t – caring about the fans and guaranteeing a second season – while the Buffalo Flash women’s team hasn’t allowed a goal in something like four or five straight games and are on their way to California for the national final four, the championship of which will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel.

Success and letting the fans know you give a damn are two of the best factors in thriving as a sports franchise, and the Queen City’s two clubs have got both. Keep an eye out for a nifty announcement by FC Buffalo coming up – there might be a roadtrip in your future if you do. And be sure to watch our ladies compete for the national title on Saturday on Fox Soccer Channel!

Support Your Local Record Store
It’s no big secret I’m a fan of underground rock and roll and vinyl records. Imagine my dismay, then, when I heard about my favorite local independent store Spiral Scratch suffering a shop fire. Then the benefit shows went down, and Dave started talking about a new location and getting back on his feet. Color me surprised when I found out he moved in right across the street from me!

I’ve talked with him a couple of times since he’s start getting the storefront at 291 Bryant ready, and he tells me his plan to re-open the shop on Friday is still a go. Make sure to come down and peruse his record and (meager) CD collection, and help a good Buffalo business get back up and running!

(Addendum: I’ll be doing a special post on Friday that will be up around 12PM all about how the store has risen from the ashes and found itself in a better place because of it. Keep an eye out for it)

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