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Insider Only Latest Pens Buzz: Seattle made a quick decision to go with Brandon Tanev, sources say

Latest Buzz on the Penguins losing Brandon Tanev to the expansion draft

The Pittsburgh Penguins will come out of expansion draft losing two useful forwards off their roster with the trade of Jared McCann on Saturday and Seattle selecting Brandon Tanev.

What’s been clear over the last week is this:

Seattle planned to take Teddy Blueger as their No. 1 target if left exposed, multiple sources have said, so Blueger became a top priority for the Penguins to protect as the team put a premium on trying to keep their center depth intact and with the Penguins planning to protect Blueger, Jared McCann was going to be the selection by Seattle if not traded and left exposed by the Penguins.

Yes, the Penguins got something for McCann who they didn’t plan to protect and added a prospect who could be a useful bottom-6 player in 2-3 years, but whether McCann should have been a higher priority from the Penguins to protect is the bigger story than anything.

Pittsburgh’s final two choices on who to protect over the last 7-10 days of the decision making process were all centered around Jeff Carter, Teddy Blueger and Brandon Tanev for those two spots. This wasn’t a situation where the decision making process went down to the wire on whether to protect Jared McCann or not.

Where Seattle’s thinking was after Blueger and McCann being off the table was cloudy and even murky to the Penguins.

While some around the league feel Seattle was bluffing and Pittsburgh got played that the Kraken were going to select Jeff Carter (Kraken would have traded Carter in a side deal if selected), the Penguins believed it was a strong possibility and felt they couldn’t take the risk of exposing Carter.

Once Pittsburgh exposed Brandon Tanev, the sense around the league is Seattle selecting Tanev would be a no-brainer for Ron Francis & Co and that’s exactly what played out with the selection as Tanev projects to be an instant fan favorite on the ice and is the type of player an expansion team kind of needs to set a tone, culture on a daily basis. Tanev was also seen as better value than others Pittsburgh exposed to flip if that’s an option Seattle would eventually seek for Tanev.

Whispers inside the Penguins organization as of Sunday, though, was that the team felt Tanev would ‘likely’ not get selected as one source put it and that others such as Jason Zucker, Sam Lafferty, Zach Aston-Reese (RFA) and pending UFA Cody Ceci were all still on the table for Seattle.

However, that didn’t play out based on talks with league sources and agents.

Tanev was Seattle’s guy immediately once Pittsburgh’s protected list was official, multiple sources say. By Sunday afternoon Tanev’s reps Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" Seattle’s coaching staff is said to have been ecstatic that Tanev was available to them.

Had Pittsburgh protected Tanev over Jeff Carter, a pretty strong belief around the league is Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" with Sam Lafferty getting some mentions.

Seattle surprisingly did not engage in any discussions with Zach Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

For Pittsburgh we have to see where the chips fall in the next 10-14 days and evaluating these decisions fully is better to wait until let’s say August 5th than making a judgement right now.

A big talking point is going to be that the Penguins created $6.45 million in cap space with the subtractions of McCann and Tanev. Is it really enough to upgrade the roster over what you lost in McCann and Tanev?

$5-$5.5 Million of that could go to resigning Cody Ceci and Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

It’s an open secret around the league the Penguins want to move Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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