I had a feature ready to post tonight analyzing the Penguins roster but with tonight’s bizarre roster moves, here’s a few tidbits on Tangradi and some thoughts heading into tomorrow’s game —
*Although no one inside the organization is giving an explanation regarding tonight’s bizarre roster moves, team contacts I spoke with told me that Tangradi will be back up with the team tomorrow.
The demotion is believed to be related to Arron Asham (shoulder) but the recall of goaltender Patrick Killeen is mindboggling as Marc Andre Fleury and Brent Johnson are neither injured nor hurt.
The Penguins also have no cap issues with Jordan Staal on the non-injury list.
If Tangradi surprisingly isn’t in tomorrow’s opening night lineup, I feel extremely bad for him. He called today a dream come true after being informed that he made the team and you should have seen the excitement on his face.
“I will be there tomorrow, nothing but smiles since I found out the decision, ” Tangradi told Inside Pittsburgh Sports shortly after Wednesday’s practice.
Playing against his hometown team, Tangradi told me about a dozen family members were coming to the game.
“I’m going to probably have about a dozen people from Philly coming in, ” Tangradi said. “I know they’re going to be wearing their Penguins stuff proud but deep down inside it might hurt some of them, ” Tangradi said.
Eric’s sister Nicole is among the family members who are expected to come in for the game. “Headed to Pittsburgh tomorrow!!!!! Eric is a penguin!!!!!! wahoooooo, ” Nicole Tangradi wrote on her facebook wall on Wednesday afternoon.
Although things can change out of the blue, if the Penguins were not sure Tangradi was going to be on the opening night roster due to an injury or potential move, they would have never informed him before Wednesday’s roster deadline that he made the team.
Another interesting note is that since I’ve been back from my honeymoon (Sept 25), there’s been only one other winger to skate with Mike Comrie and Evgeni Malkin on the second line in the past two weeks. That was Dustin Jeffrey who skated on the second line in last Thursday’s practice.
Tangradi has been a fixture on that line for weeks.
*Spoke with agent Allain Roy this evening who is absolutely thrilled for client Mark Letestu on making the club. Allain told me that Letestu was told on Tuesday that he’s here to stay for now. Letestu is a great guy and he’s earned a spot in the lineup.
*I’ve kept a close eye on Kris Letang the past week and there’s been no changes with his shot. He’s been extremely erratic with his shot in practices.
*Ben Lovejoy outperformed Deryk Engelland in camp but who plays early on is going to be dictated by matchups. Engelland appears to be in line to play against Philadelphia in the opener.