A few hours later, the Jets sent Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils for a seventh-round draft pick in 2013, as well as a fourth-round pick in 2014.
Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff made the following comments on the trades (per TSN):
We went out and acquired (Tangradi) and upon acquiring him we had the opportunity to open up some roster space and some ice time for him. We're very hopeful that he is someone that, given an opportunity to play within our organization, is going to blossom and continue to move forward.
It was really more about creating an opening and an opportunity for Eric as opposed to anything with Alexei.
It appeared as though the Penguins had high expectations for Tangradi, as they acquired him and Chris Kunitz from the Anaheim Ducks at the 2009 trade deadline in exchange for Ryan Whitney. However, Tangradi failed to become a top-six forward with the club, registering just a goal and five points in 45 NHL games.
Tangradi was selected 42nd overall in the second round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks. Standing 6'4" and weighing 221 pounds, the 24-year-old does offer good size and strength. Tangradi had 42 hits in 24 games last season.
Perhaps a change of scenery will help Tangradi to develop into a better player offensively. Regardless, the Jets only gave up a seventh-round pick and they did receive two draft picks for Ponikarovsky, who was on a one-year contract.
Ponikarovsky, 32, had little impact in his 12 games with the Jets this season. He had just two points, 10 shots, was a minus-two and played less than 12 minutes per game. He also had less of an impact physically than in previous years.
With a quarter of the season gone, the Jets sit 11th in the Eastern Conference, three points out of the playoffs.
While these are far from blockbuster deals, perhaps they will send a message to the rest of the Jets players. If not, there will likely be a few more moves made by the deadline—especially if the Jets aren't in the thick of the playoff race.