The Pittsburgh Penguins have thrown a truck-full of money and term at Brandon Tanev.
The deal for Tanev, a former undrafted college player who scored the game-winning goal in the Frozen Four to give Providence College a national championship 2015, has leveraged being the weakest link on an otherwise very good line (and a solid penalty killer into a six-year deal worth $21 million.
Tanev is coming off a career year where he scored 14 goals and added 15 assists for 29 points and set a franchise record with 278 hits with the Winnipeg Jets.
With them, Tanev was one cog in a line that was elite in terms of possession, but when broken down to how each player performed without the other, we can see that Tanev was by far the line’s weakest link.
Tanev w/ Lowry, Copp – 58.27 CF%
Tanev w/ Lowry – 52.74 CF%
Tanev w/o Lowry, Copp – 38.08 CF%
Tanev w/o Lowry – 41.49 CF%
Tanev had four points in 51 games in 2016-17. Now he’s going to make $3.5 million per year. Over the past two seasons, he’s had five shorthanded goals.
That’s fewer goals from, and more term and money for, his replacements. But reportedly the Penguins had to get rid of Kessel, so that might be a moot point anyway.