The first segment of Griffins summer spotlight will feature forward, Eric Tangradi.
Tangradi played in his third season as a member of the Griffins. He made one appearance for the Red Wings during the 2015-2016 season. The big forward had the best season of his pro career, collecting 64 points (31-33-64) while appearing in 74 games.
Eric Tangradi is a 6-foot-4 226-pound forward. He was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2007 NHL Draft. He broke into the NHL during the 2009-2010 season making his debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins and playing in one game. He spent most of the season with their AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. He spent parts of the next five seasons with the Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, and Montreal Canadiens organizations. During the 2013-2014 season, he played in a career high 55 NHL contests for the Jets and collected six points (3-3-6).
Before the 2015-2016 season, the Detroit Red Wings signed the then journeyman to a 1-year contract. He was expected to compete for a roster spot, but eventually found himself back in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins. At that point, he posted the best numbers of his pro career, scoring 56 points (28-28-56) in 72 games.
Tangradi wanted a shot to play in the NHL. He felt the like the Red Wings would be where he would be able to earn that opportunity and he resigned in the summer of 2016 for two more seasons. The 2016-2017 saw somewhat of a statistical decline for Tangradi. He was limited to only 54 games, but still contributed with 44 points (17-27-44) and was a key player during their Calder Cup Championship run.
In the final year of his two year deal, he had his best season scoring a team leading 31 goals and also contributing with 33 assists. He had five multi-goal games during the regular season. He was second on the team in points with 64.
The Griffins were preparing to fight for their playoff lives as they were preparing to battle the Manitoba Moose in the fifth and decisive game on the Central Division semi-finals. A couple of days before the game, the Griffins received word that Tangradi would be suspended for the game due to a crosschecking incident during game four. This was no doubt a devastating blow as the Griffins were already without Matt Lorito and Dominic Turgeon. The defending Calder Cup Champions were overwhelmed by the Moose, falling 5-1.
Tangradi is an unrestricted free agent heading into the off season and is looking to land with a team where he can compete for an NHL spot.