DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today recalled left wing Eric Tangradi from the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins.
Tangradi, 26, has skated in 24 games with the Griffins this season, leading the team and tying for fifth in the AHL with 13 goals. He also ranks second on the club with 22 points, three power-play goals and 59 shots on goal. The 6-foot-4, 233-lb., winger saw an eight-game point streak come to a close in Grand Rapids' game on Sunday against Lake Erie, ending a run where he notched 12 points (8-4-12) and helped the Griffins to a franchise-record 15-game winning streak, matching the third-longest winning streak in the history of the AHL.
The Philadelphia native is currently in his seventh professional season and has totaled 143 career NHL games between the Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens since the 2009-10 campaign, notching 15 points (5-10-15) and 86 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 250 AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Hamilton Bulldogs and Griffins over the same stretch, accumulating 174 points (87-87-174) and 187 penalty minutes. A 2011 AHL All-Star, Tangradi has also picked up 12 points (5-7-12) in 14 Calder Cup Playoff games.
Originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Tangradi spent his major junior career with the OHL's Belleville Bulls, notching 168 points (67-101-168) in 176 regular-season games and adding 56 points (23-33-56) in 52 playoff games. He represented the United States during the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, Ontario, picking up three points (1-2-3) in six games.
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While we wait for the diggers to get any more information from the organization itself, the immediate logic of this move is that Dylan Larkin's injury which will keep him out of Monday's game in Minnesota once again drops the Red Wings' roster to only having 12 healthy forwards. Larkin is a possibility to go on Tuesday night in Winnipeg, but the schedule as it stands right now calls for another player to come up in case there's another injury.
Detroit is currently on the road in Minnesota before heading to Winnipeg on Tuesday and then back home to meet the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. The Griffins' schedule sees them play in Milwaukee on Tuesday and then at home against the Admirals again on Thursday.
With the Wings on the road and the Griffins playing, the callup of Tangradi over other players such as Andreas Athanasiou or Anthony Mantha suggests that the recall is for emergency backup purposes rather than a concern there's already another player hurt. Tangradi is the Griffins' leading goalscorer and just two points behind team leader Andy Miele, but at 26, Tangradi's ceiling is essentially very good AHL player/fringe NHLer. It feels like he's being called up to sit.
On the waiver front, Tangradi cleared waivers before being assigned to Grand Rapids at the start of the season. This callup will start a 30-day clock with him before he would have to clear again to be returned to the Griffins. If Tangradi is on the Detroit roster for 30 days (which don't have to be consecutive) or if he plays in 9 games, he would have to be exposed to waivers before he could be reassigned.
Based on return dates for Drew Miller and Teemu Pulkkinen, it's unlikely Tangradi will hit either of those milestones.
[Update: Either I'm a good guesser or Ken Holland is a good liar]
Ken Holland said Tangradi recalled so team could have an extra healthy forward going into Winnipeg in case someone is hurt or becomes ill— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) December 28, 2015