Penguins sign last three restricted free agents

Tangradi, Grant, Bortuzzo in fold


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The Penguins still don't know whether their training camp will open three weeks from today, as scheduled.

That hinges on the outcome of the collective-bargaining negotiations between the league and the NHL Players' Association that are expected to resume today in New York.

But whenever their preseason begins -- assuming that happens at some point -- the Penguins will be able to enter it with a full roster.

They re-signed their final three restricted free agents, left winger Eric Tangradi and defensemen Robert Bortuzzo and Alex Grant, to one-year contracts Thursday.

All are 23 and accepted two-way deals, which pay a reduced salary when the player is with the Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.

Tangradi's NHL salary for 2012-13 would be $726,000, a 10 percent increase on his pay last season.

Bortuzzo and Grant would earn $525,000, which matches their NHL base pay in '11-'12.

Tangradi had two assists in 24 regular-season appearances with the Penguins last year. He also had a strong showing -- arguably his best in the NHL -- in the two games he played against Philadelphia in the Penguins' first-round playoff series this spring.

Tangradi participated in 37 games with Wilkes-Barre, putting up 15 goals and 16 assists

Bortuzzo has played in six NHL games, all last season, but could make a serious run at a major league roster spot. He is strong defensively and had three goals and nine assists in 51 games with the Baby Penguins in '11-'12.

Grant has bounced back from a severe wrist injury he received in a prospects-tournament game two years ago and had 10 goals and 27 assists in 61 games with Wilkes-Barre last season.

Because the Penguins' depth chart on defense is so crowded, Grant looks to be a long shot to claim an NHL spot this winter.

NOTES -- The Penguins' game at Buffalo Feb. 17 will be televised nationally on NBC. Four others -- home games against Los Angeles Feb. 10, Washington March 17 and Boston April 7 and a visit to St. Louis March 3 -- are "flex" games that will be carried on NBC or the NBC Sports Network. NBCSN will show between 12 and 14 Penguins games, although Root Sports might carry some of those in this market.

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Dave Molinari: Dmolinari@Post-Gazette.com or Twitter @MolinariPG. First Published August 31, 2012 4:00 AM


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