Penguins sign Tanev to six-year deal as speedy winger takes term over dollars

He wasn't the top free agent on the board, but Brandon Tanev is a coach's favorite and grind-line winger who can get the job done. And given he signed a six-year pact, it's clear Pittsburgh is quite fond of what he brings to the table.
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Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford must really like what Brandon Tanev brings to the table, because he just gave the right winger a lot of term.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a fairly reasonable contract for a third-liner. Tanev gets $3.5 million per season on a six-year contract with the Penguins. It’s one of those interesting pacts, much like the one Calle Jarnkrok signed in Nashville a few years ago, where the player gets job security over gross dollars.

Tanev, who made his name with the Winnipeg Jets, is a hard-working guy who can chip in some tertiary offense and kill penalties. He ranked third in the NHL this past season with 278 hits, so obviously he brings a nice physical element to the ice as well.

What is really interesting about Pittsburgh is how Rutherford sets the table from here on out. As per usual, this team runs through Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and will do so until the wheels fall off of those two superstars. But eventually that will happen. The offense will already be lessened next season due to the departure of Phil Kessel, unless Alex Galchenyuk finds incredible chemistry with someone and goes off.

With Tanev in the fold, the Penguins get some stability at a lower level, but to what end? While he is a very serviceable player, those kind of guys aren’t exactly scarce. Would it not have been more prudent to sign him to a three-year pact, then re-evaluate from there?

But this is Free Agency after all, and concessions must be made. Pittsburgh got a guy they clearly coveted and now Tanev is their property long-term. Tanev gets incredible job security, which is always nice for a player who went undrafted as a teenager, catching on with Winnipeg as an NCAA free agent out of Providence College.

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