Record: 46-25-11 103p (3rd in the Metropolitan)
Playoffs: Lost in First Round to NYR
G – Louis Domingue (NYR), D – Mike Matheson (Trade – MON), D – John Marino (Trade – NJ)
D – Jeff Petry, F – Ryan Poehling, D – Ty Smith, G – Dustin Tokarski, D – Jan Rutta, F – Josh Archibald, F – Drake Caggiula
Well, this team could have looked a lot different if they had not re-signed Bryan Rust, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang. The hope here is that there is enough to keep the core together with C Sidney Crosby to chase after one more Stanley Cup championship. The only issue here is that Malkin, Letang, and Crosby are all reaching the latter parts of their careers and all three will be playing in their 17th season.
The defence will look different as Mike Matheson was traded to Montreal for Jeff Petry and Ryan Poehling, and John Marino was shipped out to New Jersey for Ty Smith and a sixth round pick in next summer’s NHL Entry Draft.
The bigger question is can the Penguins, who have the longest active postseason appearance streak at 16 straight seasons, advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 season with a virtually similar team?
The biggest question mark for this writer is at goaltending. Can Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith get over the demons in net and be the tandem that gets the Penguins far this season and far in the postseason? Only time will be able to tell.