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Report: Seattle Kraken “zeroing in” on Brandon Tanev

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Could Brandon Tanev be the Penguins’ expansion pick loss tonight?

Boston Bruins v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

Is Seattle looking at Brandon Tanev as the player they will add from Pittsburgh tonight? Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli has been on fire with news this morning ahead of this evening’s NHL expansion draft and he thinks so:

Tanev has four years remaining on a contract that will pay $3.5 million. If Tanev is selected (which, let’s remember that “if” is the optimal word in this sentence for right now), that would leave the Pens with about $7.5 million in cap space, up a somewhat significant amount in the last week after the trade of Jared McCann.

This would go against my logic from yesterday, but Seattle is scanning the whole league to build whatever kind of team that would want.

If that involves taking the age 30-33 seasons of a lower line grinder who has scored 18 goals and 23 assists in the last two seasons (100 games) for a princely $3.5 million sum per year, well, best of luck on that. Brandon Tanev is a fun player to watch and enjoy and his loss will incur a short-term disappointment, but this type of move is likely a long-term positive development for the Penguins’ salary structure looking down the line.

One way that could directly come into format would be opening up space for the return of Zach Aston-Reese, who is younger and will be a cheaper and shorter add than Tanev. All signs and data points to that it is Aston-Reese, not Tanev, who has been the key to the Pens’ checking line’s defensive success over the years.

But if Tanev is taken away from Pittsburgh, there will surely be a response this summer by the Pens to find a way to replace the speed, energy, physicality to the forward group. There’s no doubt that Tanev was a key element to the team’s spirit and a big part of the club on and off the ice and that would be a blow to move on from.

That could come in many forms in a free agent signing or a trade to address the need to replace the many good aspects that Tanev brings on the ice. The good news is Pittsburgh would have the room to be in the market for such an addition. Reportedly Marcus Pettersson has been on the trade block, will he be the bait to be moved for a forward who can fit this type of role? It could make sense on the surface.

After months of anticipation, the Seattle expansion draft is tonight at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will be covering it, as the league makes another big move to it’s new primary broadcast partner.