Tangradi had been a healthy scratch for the majority of his time with the Penguins this season. He was given the opportunity to play on a line alongside powerhouses Evgeni Malkin and James Neal; however, he wasn’t able to cash in on that chance.
In fact, for the past several seasons Tangradi hasn’t made much of the opportunity he was given with the Pittsburgh organization and I believe they’ve given him more than plenty of chances to do so. I’m not knocking him as a player, but I don’t think he fit in as well with the team and the lines they put him on as they had originally hoped he would when they traded defenseman Ryan Whitney to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for him and Chris Kunitz.
Luckily Kunitz has more than made up for the worth of both players, as Tangradi never reached his potential to play mentally as big as he was physically and if he had only harnessed that then he could’ve done some serious damage for the Penguins
Having acquired another draft pick (as they did when they traded defenseman, Ben Lovejoy, to the Ducks), I would suspect that Penguins general manager, Ray Shero, has bigger and better plans on the horizon. However, with Tangradi out of the picture, this could be a prime chance for highly-regarded prospect Beau Bennett. That also seems to be what the Penguins have in mind as well since earlier today, they announced that they’ve recalled Bennett from their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre Scranton.
Now being in need of a winger for Malkin and recently acquired Zach Boychuk not working out so well, Bennett will most likely fill the spot on the line with Malkin and Neal. He had done it before at the start of the season with some success so I can imagine he can do it once again with a greater degree of success. Nonetheless, it will be quite interesting to watch what unfolds and to see if the Penguins could possibly have three of the best lines in hockey.