The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that forward Brandon Tanev is out week-to-week with an upper-body injury. This comes just days before the team is forced to make decisions regarding its trade deadline strategy. Head coach Mike Sullivan provided the update Monday afternoon.
Coach Sullivan on Tanev's absence from practice: "Tans is going to be week-to-week with an upper-body injury."
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 5, 2021
Penguins Brandon Tanev Out Week-To-Week
Tanev has been a useful secondary piece in 2020-21. His seven goals and 16 points in 32 games are solid considering he averages just 14:26 per game and much of that is following a faceoff in the defensive zone. The scoring is nice, but the team appreciates his 139 hits and 33 blocks far more. It’s a solid season for someone who has a strong reputation as a forechecking forward who can occasionally chip in some goals.
The Winnipeg Jets originally signed the Toronto native in 2016 after several seasons with the Providence College Friars. Tanev played for the Jets from 2015-16 through 2018-19 where he posted 24 goals and 51 points in 195 games. He then joined Pittsburgh as a free agent prior to the 2019-20 season. Overall, the 6’0″ skater has 42 goals, 92 points, 984 hits and 268 blocks in 295 games. He also has two seasons with down-ballot support for the Selke trophy. Tanev is the perfect complement on a Penguins roster that is trying to make at least one more Stanley Cup run in the Sidney Crosby era.
How Pittsburgh Replaces Tanev
Pittsburgh doesn’t have the deepest roster, but they can certainly shuffle their lines to cover up Tanev’s absence. In addition to the usual promotions from the bottom-six to the top-six, look for the Pens to promote someone from their taxi squad. Options include 24-year-old Radim Zohorna and Anthony Angello, who has appeared in 19 games this year. The team really only needs a bottom-six grinder to cover a role for a few weeks. There is a strong possibility that this most recent injury motivates the front office to acquire immediate reinforcements as the deadline approaches.
Main Photo: GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 12: Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Brandon Tanev (13) skates with the puck during the NHL hockey game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Arizona Coyotes on January 12, 2020 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)