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Penguins sign free agent forward Brandon Tanev, six years $3.5 million per

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A hard working bottom six winger could be coming to Pittsburgh

NHL: JAN 04 Jets at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s official. For some reason the Penguins felt the need to lock themselves into a 27-year old third/fourth line winger with 24 career NHL goals for the next six seasons. Oh yeah, and at a premium salary rate of $3.5 million per season.

The Pens are a team that has signed what instantly has been head-scratchingly bad contracts from the moment it was signed before. Last year it was Jack Johnson who also got a ton of term and money.

This one doesn’t look much better. Decent player, but lower line wings have a short shelf-life. And why commit SIX years? This one is tough to wrap a mind around.

From the team:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with forward Brandon Tanev on a six-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

The deal will run through the 2024-25 campaign and carries an average annual value of $3.5 million.

Tanev, 27, is coming off of a career year in which he recorded personal bests in goals (14), assists (15), points (29), hits (278) and blocked shots (81). His 278 hits were third most in the NHL, while his 81 blocked shots ranked third among all NHL forwards.

The defensively-responsible winger was a staple on Winnipeg’s penalty kill, averaging a career-best 2:08 minutes of shorthanded time-on-ice per game, good for second-most among Jets forwards in 2018-19. He also chipped in with a team-best two shorthanded goals (tied), while his five shorthanded goals over the past two seasons is tied for fifth-most in the NHL.

A native of Toronto, Ontario, Tanev has appeared in 195 career NHL games with Winnipeg, recording 24 goals, 27 assists, and 51 points and is plus-16

The Penguins did a thing, but....

UPDATE: Per Elliotte Friedman it’s a done deal, Tanev has signed with the Pens.

Dreger says it could be a long term:

More as it breaks....

According to multiple sources, including Darren Dreger, the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to sign forward Brandon Tanev.

His hockeydb shows a 27-year old forward that has grown into a NHL caliber forward the past couple of seasons:

Analytically he’s pretty solid for his role.

Take a deep dive on the stats and last year the Jets only scored 1.91 Goals/60 with Tanev on the ice, one of the lowest marks on the team for regular forwards. But they also only gave up 1.79 Goals Against/60, which also was one of the lowest.

Here’s what our SBN sister site Arctic Ice Hockey said about Tanev in their recent review of his 2018-19 season:

A couple seasons ago, he was one of the worst forwards in the league. Now he is not one of the worst forwards in the league, but it still might benefit the Jets if they let him walk during free agency.

A few seasons ago, he is now an average forward on the Jets which means he is no longer a liability. Furthermore, he has scored over ten goals this year and is no longer a black hole of offence. That combined with his speed means that he was an asset to the Jets this past season and could remain one if they can sign him for a bargain contract.

The problems surrounding the Jets keeping Tanev do not have to do with his game or his skill; instead it has to do with the salary cap and how little the Jets will have this summer. They have many younger players to sign and Tanev should be put on the back burner. If he leaves, they can replace him internally with someone like Jack Roslovic or externally by someone who will cost less.

Tanev have improved immensely since he first came to the team. He is able to make actual plays and not just skate fast. He might have priced himself out of the Jets plans, but thankfully they have players to replace him internally AND Tanev can go get paid by a team that can afford to do so.

Terms of a deal with Pittsburgh, and in fact even the confirmation of a deal being reached, aren’t official yet but seem trending in that direction. Tanev has been a player on the rise to become fairly respectable as of late, but doesn’t really look like a future star. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a ton of cap space anyways, so we will have to see what and if they sign him how that would look.