Here is the press conference that they held with Ray Shero following Penguins practice this morning...
Dan Bylsma's comments...
A couple of Kunitz quotes from the OC Register...
"It's going to be tough now, but hopefully it will be something that will work in the future," Kunitz said. "I'm definitely excited to see some of their centermen and young players. You have to wait and see when you talk to the coach."
"I knew from the situation that we're all in, both trying to make the playoffs, just the way it is with the salary cap and space, I knew that was obviously factored in there, but yeah, I'm definitely shocked," Kunitz said.
"I'm a little shocked," Kunitz said Thursday morning via telephone after the Ducks traded he and junior prospect Eric Tangradi to the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Ryan Whitney.
Pens Move Big Asset...Flip Whitney to Ducks for Kunitz and Tangradi
The Penguins have traded Ryan Whitney to the Ducks for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi...
You know when we need prospect info, we go to Jesse Marshall...here is his quote via text message regarding Tangradi.
"We get Eric Tangradi too. He instantly becomes the best power forward in the Pens system. We robbed them..."
More is few...
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It was pretty much a foregone conclusion...when would Ryan Whitney be traded and not so much if. Well, the when became a reality today, as the offensive defenseman was shipped to the Anaheim Ducks for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi.
Whitney, who had undergone foot surgery in the off-season, had recently returned to the line-up and had quickly reclaimed his mantle as whipping boy for most Penguins fans. Folks never really saw the true value that Whitney had, as he was a young, mobile, puck moving defenseman, who could quarterback the power play. He will most likely immediately take over that role with the Ducks.
Interesting that Chris Kunitz would be the guy coming back in the deal, considering that his name came up in regard to the Penguins more than a year ago. He isn't necessarily the sexiest name that could have been coming back, but he can put the puck in the net. Here is hoping that he will be able to top his career high of 25 goals playing with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Kunitz has won the Stanley Cup and plays an offensive game.
The nice thing about Kunitz is that he is signed through 11-12 season for a cap friendly $3.725 mil.
The Penguins also get Eric Tangradi and as you can see by Jesse Marshall's comment I received via text moments after the deal, he is a great power forward prospect. Tangradi was ranked second in the Anaheim system according to Hockey's Future and is having a fine season with the OHL's Belleville Bulls. In 52 games, he has 38 goals and 87 points. He was the Duck's second round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Keep an eye on Ryan Whitney, as he is sure to become one of the top offensive defensemen in the National Hockey League. Especially on a team where he will most likely be given the keys to the power play moving forward. He was expendable in a way, based on the offensive depth the Penguins have on the blue line. In my opinion, this is also a sign that the team will look to re-sign Sergei Gonchar, who also just returned from injury and is playing as if he hadn't missed a game.
More in a bit...
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Here is the official release from the team...
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS ACQUIRE KUNITZ, TANGRADI
FROM ANAHEIM IN EXCHANGE FOR RYAN WHITNEY
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Chris Kunitz and prospect Eric Tangradi from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Ryan Whitney, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
Kunitz, 29, has 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) and 55 penalty minutes in 62 games with Anaheim this season. The left winger ranks fifth on the Ducks with 16 goals and leads the team with 148 hits.
The 6-1,198-pound Kunitz posted career highs with 25 goals and 60 points in 81 games in 2006-07, when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup. In 2007-08, he led Anaheim with six game-winning goals and ranked third on the team in goals (21), assists (29) and points (50).
The 6-1, 198 pound forward plahas played parts of six seasons in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks and the Atlanta Thrashers. He has tallied 192 points (81 goals, 111 assists) and 299 penalty minutes in 315 career games in the NHL.
The native of Regina, Saskatchewan played four seasons with Ferris State University appearing in 152 games and posting 175 points (99 goals, 76 assists) and 275 penalty minutes. Kunitz was originally signed by Anaheim as a free agent on April 1, 2003.
Tangradi, 20, is in his third season with the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He ranks second the OHL with 87 points (38 goals, 49 assists) while ranking fourth in the league with 38 goals in 52 games this season. The native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania represented Team USA at the 2009 World Junior Championships in Ottawa.
The 6-4, 221 pound forward has played 173 games in the OHL, collecting 167 points (67 goals, 100 assists) and 130 penalty minutes. He was originally drafted by Anaheim in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2007 Entry Draft.
Whitney played 253 career games with the Penguins from 2005-09, recording 34 goals and 116 assists for 150 points. This season he had two goals and 11 assists for 13 points in 28 games.