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Penguins Re-Sign Four Farmhands

Eric Tangradi

Forward Eric Tangradi, who skated briefly with the big club in 2011-12, registered 18 goals in the AHL with the Baby Pens last season. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — While the National Hockey League remains in labor limbo, the Penguins announced new deals for three of their Wilkes-Barre/Scranton go-betweens, and another of their top prospects.

Forward Eric Tangradi, as well as defensemen Brian Streit, Robert Bortuzzo, and Alex Grant, all received two-way contracts on Thursday. The largest one was awarded to Tangradi, who stands to make $726,000 at the NHL level this approaching season, while Strait will earn $605,000, with $525,000 each going to Bortuzzo and Grant.

Fans have anxiously followed the development of Tangradi, a 23-year-old left winger, since he came to Pittsburgh in the same Feb. 2009 trade with Anaheim that swapped Ryan Whitney for rugged forward Chris Kunitz, who has since been paired frequently with captain Sidney Crosby. Tangradi has yet to make a major impact on the big club, notching two assists last season and one goal in 40 career NHL games, but scored 15 goals and 31 points in 37 games with the Baby Pens during the 2011-12 AHL season, adding four goals and nine points in ten playoff contests.

Strait (6’1″, 200 lbs.) played about half of this past AHL campaign in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, with whom he registered a plus-7 rating and 16 points, and also played nine games as a Penguin call-up.

Bortuzzo also had a cup of coffee with the “big” Pens last season, posting a plus-1 rating in six games, then putting up a plus-9 in 51 AHL games.

Grant (6’4″, 215 lbs.), a 23-year-old blueliner yet to make his NHL debut, led all WBS defensemen in regular-season and postseason scoring in 2011-12, ending the AHL regular season with ten goals and 37 points in 61 games.