Published on September 5th, 2012 | by James Conley0
Penguins Re-Sign F Tangradi, Defensemen Grant, Bortuzzo, Strait
The Penguins have re-signed restricted free agent forward Eric Tangradi and RFA defensemen Alex Grant, Robert Bortuzzo and Brian Strait.
All four players have received one-year, two-way deals.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Eric Tangradi and defensemen Brian Strait, Robert Bortuzzo and Alex Grant to one-year contracts, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
All four players received two-way deals. Tangradi’s contract is worth $726,000 at the NHL level; Strait will earn $605,000 at the NHL level; Bortuzzo’s and Grant’s deals are both worth $525,000 at the NHL level.
The Penguins have been relatively quiet in free agency this season. After signing Sidney Crosby to a 12-year contract and trading Jordan Staal to Carolina, the team made a number of low-cost, one- or two-year deals, most with players likely to remain in the AHL.
While Grant ($525,000) is likely to remain with the affiliate club, Tangradi ($726,000), Strait ($605,000) and Bortuzzo ($525,000) each have a better case for making the NHL squad. Tangradi has flirted with the NHL roster for parts of two seasons but has been unable to stick as a fourth-liner, where he produced just two assists last season. However, a lack of forward talent marked by the departures of Arron Asham, Staal and Steve Sullivan may have opened a spot for Tangradi to push for more permanent NHL duties.
Bortuzzo and Strait, too, will compete for jobs with the NHL squad. The Penguins’ current depth chart has just six regulars slotted for full-time roles. Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin and Matt Niskanen comprise the top-four, but Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland aren’t locks to hold onto the fifth and sixth spots.
The Pens may call up both young defensemen, especially after carrying an eight-defenseman look for parts of the Philadelphia series last Spring. The dearth of NHL-level forwards currently signed may also make room for them to play in Pittsburgh.
Under the terms of the current CBA, the Penguins now have 51 players signed to professional contracts. However, they will likely become compliant again once D Scott Harrington is (presumably) returned to his junior team.
Unless the Penguins are looking to move contracts, they’re likely finished with their free agent summer.
Image ztil301 @ flickr