Role: Power Forward
Contract Status: Signed through 2011-12
Notables: 22 years old, 6-4, 225lbs., Left handed shot
AHL Season Stats: 42 games played, 18G, 15A, +9, 86 PIM
NHL Season Stats: 15 games played, 1G, 2A, -4, 10 PIM
Eric Tangradi started the season in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins. After a goal and an assist in nine games, Tangradi was sent down to the AHL. He didn't seem to take the demotion well to say the least. With just three goals and an assist after 15 games with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, there was a lot of concern about Tangradi's work ethic and attitude.
But after 28 points (14G, 14A) in his last 27 AHL games the real Tangradi emerged. He played his final game with the WBS Penguins on January 29th.
Tangradi appeared in the first five games of February with the NHL Penguins but in the February 11th Islanders/Penguins slugfest, he took a dirty hit from Trevor Gillies which caused him to miss the rest all but the last game of the regular season as well as the AHL playoffs because of rules pertaining to injured players not being allowed to be sent down to the minors.
Tangradi did appear in Game 4 of Pittsburgh's first round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a 3-2 win in double overtime, registering five hits and two shots on goal. He was a scratch for the final three games.
The real question heading into 2011-12 is if Tangradi is NHL ready. With 4 spots up for grabs in the NHL lineup, it could come down to Tangradi and guys like Nick Johnson, Ryan Craig and Joe Vitale. Then again, the Penguins could sign a few NHL forwards through free agency and all four of the above mentioned could start the season in Wilkes-Barre. Time will tell.
Another potential forward Tangradi could be battling for a roster spot in Pittsburgh is Dustin Jeffrey, who was tendered a qualifying offer, according to sources in this article. If Jeffrey signs the two-way offer worth $550,000 at the NHL level, that would give the Penguins 13 forwards including Tangradi, Johnson, Craig and Vitale.