The Ducks have traded LW Chris Kunitz and prospect Eric Tangradi to the Pittsburgh Penguins for D Ryan Whitney.
Whitney gives the Ducks a third established puck-moving defenseman behind Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer. He was a key contributor to the Eastern-Conference winning Penguins last season, contributing 12 goals and 40 points in 76 games. However, the 26-year-old had fallen out of favor in Pittsburgh when he was slow to recover from foot surgery, missed the first 31 games of this season, and posted just two goals and 13 points in the 28 games since – after signing a 6-year, $24 million extension in the offseason.
Owed $4 million a year through 2013, Whitney was an easy fit under the salary cap since Kunitz was due $3.75 a year through 2012.
Kunitz leaves an absence at left wing alongside center Ryan Getzlaf and right wing Corey Perry that the Ducks must somehow fill tonight in Boston.
Tangradi was a tall (6-3) but raw prospect at power forward who had performed well in the Ducks’ rookie camp last summer and again briefly in training camp this season before being reassigned to juniors.
More to come, including comments from Whitney and hopefully Ducks GM Bob Murray.