December 5, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
With a whole run of newness behind him, left-winger Eric Tangradi is sure he'll be a more relaxed and confident player when he returns to the Winnipeg Jets this fall.
The 24-year-old from Philadelphia, acquired by the Jets from Pittsburgh early in the shortened 2013 season, will do so with a new two-year contract signed on Tuesday.
The restricted free agent, who had filed for salary arbitration, got his first-ever one-way deal, to pay him $650,000 next season and $700,000 in 2014-15.
"Absolutely, I think I can do that," Tangradi said Tuesday, asked if he's got more in him than the one goal and four points he registered for Winnipeg in 36 games of mostly a fourth-line role.
"I think I've built a foundation as far as being a big, strong power forward and now the next step is to put the puck in the back of the net.
"I had a lot of chances to do so last year. I think I put pressure on myself to do it."
Talking about his challenge ahead, Tangradi sounded pretty focused on Tuesday.
"As far as the summer goes, I'm doing a lot of shooting and I want to be more consistent," he said. "With a year under my belt there, I think it will help me and I won't stress over whether they all go in. I'm pretty confident I'll be more relaxed when it comes to that."
He said he was eager to return.
"After the way things went in Winnipeg, I wanted to return from the day I left at the end of the season," Tangradi said. "I was eager to jump back on board.
"Sometimes these things take a little time, but I'm glad it's done, whether it was right after the season or today."
Also Tuesday, the Jets announced they had come to an agreement with restricted free-agent centre Patrice Cormier, who had 10 games with the Jets last season but has managed only 40 NHL games in his injury-delayed career.
The 2008 second-round draft pick by New Jersey, traded to Atlanta in the Ilya Kovalchuk trade, missed nearly half the 2012-13 AHL season with St. John's while injured.
Tuesday's deals leave Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff still with restricted free agents Zach Bogosian, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Anthony Peluso, Paul Postma and Zach Redmond to sign.
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 17, 2013 D1