Kunitz dealt to Pittsburgh for Whitney. Update.

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.

Whitney could be an asset to the Ducks’ power play, which has utilized defensemen Bret Hedican and Steve Montador on a considerably weaker second unit. His arrival also could herald the end of either Pronger of Niedermayer’s stay with the Ducks; both have been the subject of other teams’ inquiries as the March 4 trade deadline approaches.

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, 29, was the left wing on a top line that included center Andy McDonald and right wing Teemu Selanne when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007. He posted 25 goals and 60 points that season, dipped to 21 and 50 last year, and is on pace for 21 and 46 this season. Signed as undrafted free agent out of Ferris State in 2003, Kunitz played 313 of his 315 career games for Anaheim since debuting in 2004. He was a fan favorite for his high-energy play and feistiness that belied a 5-11, 195-pound frame.

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.

This entry was posted in Anaheim Ducks/NHL by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *