The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded left winger Eric Tangradi to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2013 seventh round pick. Tangradi had been scratched for the last eight games and fallen out of favor in the organization after opening the year as the second line left winger.
An NHL source says Tangradi eyed a better opportunity elsewhere and his rep made that known, but Tangradi never “demanded” or “asked” for a trade.
The Penguins acquired Tangradi in February 2009, in a deal that sent Ryan Whitney to Anaheim in exchange for Chris Kunitz and Tangradi. At the time, Shero said he would not have made the trade without Tangradi being involved in the deal. Despite Tangradi being a disappointment, the Penguins won big on that deal with the production they have gotten from Kunitz since 2009, the team’s first line left winger since.
The Penguins face Winnipeg Friday night.
The Penguins now have an open spot on their active roster with 13 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goaltenders following the demotion of Reese and the trade of Tangradi.
The return for Tangradi is not surprising as he’s obviously not valued around the league but the Penguins really missed an opportunity to move him a year or two ago before teams realized he’s a flawed player. During the 2010-2011 season, the Penguins were telling teams they wouldn’t move Tangradi in potential deals as the team was seeking scoring help with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin sidelined.
Just three years ago, the Penguins thought they had two future NHL top-9 power forwards in Tangradi and Luca Caputi. That obviously never panned out.
Even though the trade didn’t work out, at least the Penguins were able to move Caputi for Alexei Ponikarovsky, who at the time was a 20 goal scorer.