GLENDALE, Ariz. – All left wing Tim Kennedy was looking for is another chance to play in the NHL when he signed a one-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes this summer.

“This is the first summer I was able to look and see where I wanted to go,” he said.

Kennedy, who has played in the Buffalo, New York Rangers, Florida and San Jose organizations since turning pro five years ago, believes the Phoenix Coyotes are the best fit at this stage of his career.

“I think they’ve given me the best opportunity to make the team out of camp,” he said. “That’s all I was asking for was an opportunity.”

If he doesn’t make the Coyotes out of training camp, Kennedy, 27, said he wouldn’t mind playing in the AHL for the Pirates.

“It also helps that their farm team is in Maine,” he said. “I spent a season there and I’m very comfortable with the surroundings. It’s not the same coaching staff or organization, but me and my wife loved the town when we were there.”

During the 2008-09 season, Kennedy scored 18 goals and collected 49 assists as a rookie with the Pirates.

“Right now we’re not thinking about Maine,” he said. “We’re thinking about staying up here the whole year. If things don’t work out as planned, at least I’ll be going somewhere where I know I’ll be comfortable.”

GOALIE CHRIS RAWLINGS was not invited to attend the Coyotes’ main training camp. The former Northeastern University netminder, who stopped 19 of 20 shots while playing 40 minutes in one game for the Pirates last season following the end of his college career, participated in the Coyotes’ four-day rookie camp. He’s expected to participate in the Pirates’ training camp, which starts Sept. 23 at the MHG Center in Saco.

A FOOT INJURY kept rookie forward Lucas Lessio, who scored a goal and had an assist in five games with the Pirates last season, from practicing Thursday. “He still had the boot on today but he felt pretty good,” Coach Dave Tippett said. “I think he’s going to try to skate (Friday).”

VISA PROBLEMS delayed the arrival of defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson from Sweden. Larsson, who spent the first half of the last season with the Pirates, is due to arrive Friday.

Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH

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