The Pittsburgh Penguins this morning re-assigned winger Eric Tangradi to Wilkes Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. The team also announced this morning that veteran defenseman Andrew Hutchinson was re-assigned to Wilkes Barre.
Both moves were expected as winger Arron Asham will come off of injured reserve and make his season debut Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With Asham coming off of injured reserved, the Penguins now have 13 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goaltenders on their active roster.
Defenseman Zbynek Michalek has missed the past six games with a shoulder injury but was not placed on injured reserve.
In 9 games played, Tangradi recorded a goal and an assist along with a minus-1 rating. Tangradi began the early part of the season as a regular on the second line with Evgeni Malkin but was demoted to the 4th line over the course of the past three games.
The Penguins were pleased with Tangradi’s play but the sense inside the organization all along is that Tangradi needs more seasoning in the minors to improve his puck skills inside the offensive zone.
Tangradi showed the ability to be a front net presence and the ability to consistently win battles in the corners and along the wall, but his offensive game when it comes to the “skilled” areas such as having soft hands in around the net is still a work in progress for the 21 year old forward.
The demotion of Andrew Hutchinson is also a sign that Zbynek Michalek (shoulder) could return by the weekend after a full week of practice and that the Penguins don’t have any concerns about Brooks Orpik (groin) not playing Wednesday night against Tampa Bay.
Hutchinson, 30, appeared in 5 games, recording an assist and a minus-3 rating.