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Penguins trade Ryan Whitney to Ducks for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi

Perhaps all of those rumors were true after all.  The Penguins shipped out Ryan Whitney today to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Chris Kunitz and minor league forward Eric Tangradi.

G A P +/- PIM
2008 - Chris Kunitz 16 19 35 9 55

Chris Kunitz is a proven forward who may mesh well with Crosby/Malkin.  He was on board for the Cup in 2007 and tends to be a consistent 50-60 point guy.  If anything it adds another Sykora-like forward into the mix. 

One things the Pens are missing this year is consistency - might as well trade for it.

And what do you know?  This year the Pens didn't trade for a rental player.  Kunitz is wrapped up in a contract that takes him up to the end of 2011/12 season.  Three years at $15 mil beats the $18.5 mil the Pens would've coughed up to Whitney over the next four years.  An under-achieving Whitney at that.

I fail to see how this is a bad move.  If anything it now confirms that Kris Letang and perhaps even Alex Goligoski will find more time on the blue line this season.  When you consider Phillippe Boucher, Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill are UFAs after this season, it isnt far fetched to think this is the blue line of the future.

Additional coverage available on TSN.

[Update - 12:53] - JP from Japer's Rink sent me a link to Tangradi's facebook profile.  He's clearly a playa - but is he a team player?

[Update - 1:05] - Tangradi is a Philly native (we'll make an exception in this case).  He's 20 years old and currently playing for the OHL Belleville Bulls.  Best of all he's rocking 87 points over 52 games, incluing 38 goals.  Put this kid in the Penguins' system and Pitt may have a big-time forward in the making.

[Update - 2:05] - I apparently missed this before, but Chris Minard was sent down to waivers as part of this move as well.  So much for drop passes on breakaways...