On Monday at practice it became clear that something was up when Ryan Whitney wasn‚Äôt even working with the #2 power play in practice. On Tuesday, Whitney was the 7th defensemen in drills which based on performance might have made sense but because the Penguins were actively shopping Whitney, it didn‚Äôt make sense. On Wednesday, the team announced Whitney flew home to Boston to be with a sick family member and on Thursday he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks who are playing in Boston tonight.
Analysis and Scouting Report on the Trade
LW Chris Kunitz |Height:
: 195lbs | age: 29 |
| Cap hit
: $ 3.725 million| Signed through:
Statistics: | GP: 62 | 16 goals ‚Äì 19 assists ‚Äì 35 Points |
Positives: In Anaheim Kunitz has played every kind of role ranging from a top-6 forward to a third line role. He‚Äôs the kind of player who can play physical, win battles in the corners and creates space for skilled players. A few seasons ago he was very productive playing on a line with Andy McDonald and Teemu Selanne. He provides an ingredient that the Penguins currently don‚Äôt have. Has 148 hits on the season, which would rank third on the Penguins.
Negatives: Kunitz, 29, has three more years on his deal, paying him $3.6 million next season, $3.8 million in 2010-11 and $4 million in 2011-12. That is too high of a cap hit for a player of his caliber. Another concern is despite his struggles, Ryan Whitney is an asset. The argument now will be whether the Penguins could have received more for Ryan Whitney. There was significant interest from others. Kunitz career high in points is 60 points while Whitney‚Äôs is 59.
LW Eric Tangradi | Height:
Statistics: GP: 52 | 38 goals ‚Äì 49 assists ‚Äì 87 points ‚Äì 52 PM |
Acquired: 2nd round (#42 overall), 2007
Analysis: Tangradi, 20, was Anaheim‚Äôs #2 prospect and was the player that sealed the deal for Ray Shero and the Pittsburgh Penguins. He instantly becomes the Penguins top power forward in their system. He is a much more polished product than Luca Caputi and has more potential as a top tier winger than Caputi.
Tangradi played 173 games in the OHL, collecting 167 points (67 goals, 100 assists) and 130 penalty minutes.
Strengths: 1. Skating Ability ‚Äì He is an above average skater for his size which is a good thing
2. Size & Strength ‚Äì Has a great blend of size and strength. Plays physical and is a perfect kind of winger for Sidney Crosby in the future
3. Vision ‚Äì Has great vision for a power forward type of player. Has the ability to create his own offense.
Negatives: Prospects are never a sure thing. Penguins are in a win now mode
Overall Analysis: I have mix feelings on this trade. Adding just Kunitz won‚Äôt fix the Penguins issues this season. If Shero acquires another winger to play with Malkin prior to the trade deadline then I will like this trade a lot more than I do now. Apparently he remains in talks with other teams right now and more moves are coming. Without a doubt, Kunitz fills a need but he is a borderline top 6 forward………
The most intriguing part of this trade is Tangradi. He has the potential to be a special player alongside Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
Have the Penguins found their long-term winger for Sidney Crosby? Likely not, and that‚Äôs why they are not done between now and the trade deadline. If they add another winger then this trade looks much better but if they stand pat, then the Penguins didn’t get enough for Whitney. For now It’s TBD until after the deadline.