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Penguins notebook: Tangradi ready to make impact

| Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 8:34 p.m.

Winger Eric Tangradi is trying not to think.

“I've mentally psyched myself out in the preseason the last couple of years,” Tangradi said. “With a shortened camp I'm just going to try and play my game and help out where that place (on the roster) may be.”

Tangradi, 23, remains no worse than the second best forward prospect in the organization. He scored 10 goals and recorded 18 points in 34 AHL games during the NHL lockout.

Two factors favor him winning a spot on the NHL roster when camp breaks Friday.

Management does not believe he will clear waivers, which he must if reassigned to the AHL. Also, and more encouraging to Tangradi, is that many within the organization see a consistency that he has previously lacked.

“He has definitely taken that next step, like he has realized where he needs to be on the ice and how he needs to play every shift to make an impact even if he's not scoring goals,” said Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager.

Tangradi had not been told by Penguins coaches where he will play, but several teammates believe he will get a chance to win time on a line with center Evgeni Malkin and winger James Neal.

Latest arrivals

Tangradi was one of four players from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Penguins' AHL affiliate, to skate at Southpointe.

He was joined by wingers Beau Bennett, the organization's top forward prospect, and Jayson Megna. Defenseman Simon Despres, the overall top prospect, also arrived.

All players are expected to participate in camp.

Malkin update

Penguins officials remained unsure of Malkin's travel itinerary, although the MVP and two-time scoring champion was scheduled to arrive in Pittsburgh late Saturday or early Sunday.

Malkin spent the 113-day lockout playing for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

Former owner dies

Thayer R. “Tad” Potter died Friday. He was 79.

Potter, an Edgewood native, was a Penguins co-owner from 1971-76. The club qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs twice during his ownership group's tenure.

Penguins vice president of communication Tom McMillan said the thoughts of everyone in the organization are with the Potter family.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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