Pens add Another Defenseman

T.J. Kemp
T.J. Kemp

If the Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t have enough defensemen already, they made sure to increase their depth at the position by signing T.J. Kemp to a two-way contract (Faceoff-Factor).

Kemp spent last year in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons, associated with the Edmonton Oilers franchise. Kemp played 73 games for the Falcons (Hockey DB) and accumulated 46 points (8 G, 38 A).

He is returning back to the western half of Pennsylvania where he played NCAA hockey at Mercyhurst. Kemp has bounced around the country considerably since finishing college. He finished his four years at Mercyhurst with 100 points (32 G, 68 A) in 133 games.

In 2005-2006, Kemp bounced around to five different teams in the ECHL and AHL. The sporadic stops likely prevented him from developing any chemistry or familiarity, and thus his stats suffered. However, he found a home the next season with the Manchester Monarchs and totaled 38 points (5 G, 33) in 65 games.

A bit of a downside is his size. At 5-11, 197 pounds, he will have to bulk up to fit in on an NHL squad. Last year’s defense corps averaged a height of 6-2.25, 216.625 pounds.

I question the move considering the plethora of offensive defensemen already on the team and in the Penguins system. It seems that the scouting for the Penguins looks more highly upon defensemen’s offensive statistics than anything else.

Either way, the Penguins are still making moves and not solely looking at their main squad. It’s nice to know that the same amount of effort is being put forth to prospects as it is toward finding guys like Satan and Fedotenko.

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5 thoughts on “Pens add Another Defenseman

  1. Chris Muir

    I admit to being a novice hockey fan. I am looking more for education on this comment than on critique. What is a two-way contract? What are the pros and cons of it?

  2. christophergates

    Chris,
    A two-way contract is designed to allow a player to make different amounts of money depending on where he plays. In this case of T.J. Kemp, Kemp will earn a base salary in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. However, if he get called up to the main squad, he will then earn a higher salary (However I believe there is a quota of games needed to be played in the NHL in order to get the higher amount). Also, players signed to two-way contracts DO NOT have to clear waivers in order to be sent down.

    As it goes for Kemp, I’m not sure what the figures are. Also, I’m not sure how much it differs from player to player. That is the basic idea of a two-way contract though.

    All rookies are signed to two-way contracts whether they like it or not. It is just policy. So, for instance, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal are under two-way contracts currently. When Malkin’s new contract kicks in after this coming season, he will no longer be on a two-way contract, and thus would have to clear waivers to be sent down. I don’t see that happening though lol.

    Hope this helped! If anyone has more knowledge on the subject that I didn’t add, please feel free to let me know.

  3. Francie

    Chris,

    I see you have a passion, as described in your bio, for all sports. This website seems to be overwhelmingly hockey. I’d like to hear your opinion on tennis, specifically the Williams sisters and how it can be that they are soooo good! They have dominated the tennis scene for many years and I am in awe of their talent.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work,

    Francie

  4. Chris

    I went to Mercyhurst and had class with Kemp. He’s a smart kid and he played well for the Lakers and put up good numbers his junior and senior years. He was a captian his senior year and helped lead the Lakers, from the lowly Atlantic division, to a near upset of Boston College in the NCCA tourny his junior year (lost in OT if I remember right). I know I said ‘near upset’ but that’s pretty good seeing as BC was the all out favorite to win it all. I’m excited to see how he does with the Baby Pens and hopefully he will get called up once or twice (unlikely with the depth the Pens have on the blue line, but I’d still like to see it).

  5. christophergates

    Yes that’s quite a feat, being a small college and nearly beating a yearly power in BC. Do you recall what round that was in in the NCAA? Just out of curiosity.

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