Tangradi works for bigger role
Eric Tangradi knows the Penguins attempted to sign wing Zach Parise in July, and he knows they've had interest in free agent wing Shane Doan.
So far, however, the Penguins have done little to externally enhance their roster at left or right wing. For Tangradi, this represents hope.
“It's definitely scary when you see the potential that more guys could be coming in,” Tangradi said Thursday at Neville Island Sports Complex, where he was a guest instructor at Penguins broadcaster Phil Bourque's youth hockey camp. “When guys like that don't come, there's a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel that you could get an expanded role if you earn it.”
On the surface, Tangradi does not appear a strong candidate to play in the “top-six” on a line with centers Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Tangradi has produced one goal in 40 NHL games, and many in the organization worry that his skating isn't slick enough to play with the star centers.
Tangradi, though, is doing something about that.
“I've definitely slimmed down,” he said. “My body fat is as low as it has ever been. I paid a lot of attention to that this summer.”
Tangradi, who had his tonsils removed earlier in the summer, was informed by the coaching staff in April that his skating needed to improve. So, along with a stronger commitment to fitness and a better diet, Tangradi has worked out two times per week in his native Philadelphia with Los Angeles Kings assistant coach John Stevens.
“He's been putting me through skates twice a week that have been really beneficial,” Tangradi said. “It has helped a huge amount. It has helped me on the ice. I feel great. I'm not the kind of guy who needs to be light on the ice. But (the new body shape) can suit me.”
Noticeably slimmer, Tangradi said he still weighs 230 pounds.
Tangradi is still without a contract, but the restricted free agent said he expects to sign a new deal soon.
“I'm in Pittsburgh and I'm pretty confident I'll get things done,” he said.
But will he get things done on the ice this season?
In the hours after Parise signed with Minnesota, Penguins general manager Ray Shero was asked about possible solutions for finding another wing to play on the top two lines. He mentioned Tangradi, a blue-chip prospect when acquired from Anaheim along with left wing Chris Kunitz in 2009.
“I think it would be a great thrill,” Tangradi said. “It's definitely something I have to earn. I've shown I can play a bottom-six role. I'm just going to be myself and not somebody I'm not. If that awards me a top-six role, great.”
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Penguins’ Scuderi offers honest assessment of his 2013-14 performance
- Penguins re-sign Sutter to two-year deal
- Penguins backup goaltender Zatkoff eyes new challenge with team
- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby says aching wrist doing better