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Insider Only NHL/Pens Buzz: On Tangradi’s Value; Ducks won’t move Selanne; Pens high on Tuomo Ruutu? Bruins team to beat as midpoint nears

The Penguins are back on the ice later this afternoon, returning from the Christmas Holiday. The team has a busy week before a week long break in between games following a New Years eve afternoon tilt with the New Jersey Devils.
The Penguins in the midst of a three game winning streak, host Carolina and Philadelphia at home on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, followed by a 3:00 p.m. afternoon game against the Devils on Saturday.
Pittsburgh plays 5 of their next 6 games at home.
Onto some Trade Talk…..

Tangradi’s value to Penguins

I said it before the season and i still feel this way: Eric Tangradi’s long-term value to the Penguins will eventually be in the trade market.
Despite a wide belief around the league that Tangradi is no longer regarded as a top-5 prospect in the Penguins organization, at 22 years old, a power forward type with some offensive ability, Tangradi has value around the league.
Last year Pittsburgh got several calls on Tangradi and the same thing will happen again this season as Pittsburgh explores the market for winger help.
For Pittsburgh they have to star weighing whether Tangradi is ever going to be a fit as a top-9 winger in Dan Bylsma’s system.
The Penguins are a team built on speed and what do pretty much all of their top-9 wingers (kunitz, neal, kennedy, cooke, dupuis, sullivan) possess? “SPEED”.

What also hurts Tangradi is that he doesn’t have Ryan Malone type of hands in front of the net, that can make up for his lack of speed.
Tangradi I’m told is not considered an untouchable and the Penguins will listen on him regarding a deal that can help them now and into the future. Things could even reach the point where they listen on him regarding a rental player this season but i’m told that’s considered highly unlikely due to him being in just his third full professional season.
In the end though the best thing for Tangradi might be to move on and get into a system that fits his style of play.

Ducks won’t consider moving Selanne

Teemu Selanne would look great in a number of lineups for Cup contenders, including the Penguins, but no team is expected to have a shot at Selanne when the trade deadline nears. GM’s around the league knows it’s pretty much a certainty that GM Bob Murray won’t listen to offers and Selanne won’t have any interest in leaving Anaheim.
Last week, Murray shot down any possibility of Selanne being moved this season.
“No, he’s retiring a Duck and that’s the way it’s going to be,” Murray told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “But the way he’s playing, why should he retire?”
Some notable big names executives around the league believe will be in play in the coming months: Bobby Ryan, Ales Hemsky and Ryan Getzlaf.

Pens high on Tuomo Ruutu?

One name to keep an eye on in the coming weeks and months is Carolina Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu. Several teams including the Penguins have checked in with Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford to express their interest in the 28 year old power foward.
The Penguins are high on Ruutu who the team aggressively pursued when Ruutu was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks leading up to the 2008 trade deadline.
Ruutu, 28, has 12 goals and 20 points on the season and ranks 3rd on the Hurricanes with 72 hits. Ruutu last season posted a career high 57 points. In the final year of his contract, Ruutu is making $4.4 million this season, carrying a $3.8 million cap hit.
{He’s} a player who would definitely make sense for PIT. Bring a {Chris} Kunitz type of game to the table and you could play him in the top-6 next to Malkin or Crosby, or he could be a factor on a third line,” an Eastern Conference scout said. “Versatility is a key asset Tuomo will bring to any team that acquires him, ” the scout said.
The issue for Pittsburgh might be the price tag. Ruutu’s $3.8 million cap hit could be an issue although the Penguins are believed to have close to $2 million in long-term injury reserve cap relief.
The Hurricanes are expected to seek young assets or prospects/draft picks in return for Ruutu.

Pens, others are chasing Bruins in East

We are nearing the mid-point of the NHL season and right now I see four true Cup contenders in the East: Boston (23-9-1, 47 pts), New York Rangers (21-8-4, 46 pts), Philadelphia (21-9-4, 46 pts) and Pittsburgh (20-11-4, 44 pts). The teams are bunched up at the moment but one thing that’s become clear is that the Bruins are the team to beat and that’s how GM’s are going to be attacking the trade deadline.
Boston leads the East with +56 goal differential, the next closest team is the New York Rangers with +27.

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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