Winger Eric Tangradi was not at Consol Energy Center Wednesday when the Penguins played Ottawa. Winger Beau Bennett was. One only very loosely had to do with the other, though.
Tangradi, 24, never pushed his way into a regular role with the Penguins, even when given a shot this season at playing left wing with Evgeni Malkin, and general manager Ray Shero dealt him to Winnipeg for a seventh-round pick in the 2013 draft.
Bennett, 21 and a first-round draft pick in 2010 who has been projected as a potential winger for Malkin, watched the game in street clothes. Shero said Bennett, a first-year pro, was visiting to be evaluated for an injury that recently kept him out of a few games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.
"He's been an impressive player down there, but we don't want to rush him too much," Shero said. "A guy like Beau's time will come here at some point."
The search for a left winger to play with Malkin and right winger James Neal will go on. For now, Zach Boychuk is playing there after the Penguins claimed him off of waivers from Carolina.
Tangradi had a goal and four assists in 45 games with the Penguins. He was acquired along with winger Chris Kunitz in a February 2009 trade that sent defenseman Ryan Whitney to Anaheim.
He played the first five games this season, logging no points, but was a healthy scratch the next eight.
"He didn't ask for a trade, but he was getting scratched [from the lineup]," Shero said. "[The trade] was an opportunity for him to stay in the NHL, and I felt with Winnipeg it was a good opportunity for him. Maybe we'll see him Friday."
The Penguins play Friday night in Winnipeg.
Tangradi was seen as a power forward most of his time with the Penguins.
"He's a younger player," Shero said. "He needs to play. He wasn't in our plans, it seemed. It just seemed like there were some guys passing him by [with the Penguins]."