As part of our Countdown to Puck Drop series during the month of September, today we take a deep dive on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After back-to-back championships, the quest for a third consecutive Stanley Cup will be more challenging this season for the Pens after the loss of several depth players and veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. As the Penguins will try to become the first NHL team to three-peat since the New York Islanders won four straight championships from 1980-83, a very different team will need to complete the mission.
Besides losing veteran players like Chris Kunitz, Matt Cullen, Ron Hainsey and Mark Streit, center Nick Bonino signed a four-year, $16.4 million contract with the Nashville Predators shortly after the opening of free agency.
Defenseman Trevor Daley also left, heading to Detroit with the Red Wings, therefore the team will look different from the start. Kris Letang will need to bounce back after battling injuries last season. Netminder Matt Murray will see his workload increase and will need to count of his backup Antti Niemi.
Under the leadership of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Penguins fans are hoping the team will continue its winning streak. Young players like Jake Guentzel, Conor Sheary and Daniel Sprong will get a chance to show what they’ve got and add much-needed depth to the roster.
For a full account of all of the Penguins’ offseason moves and how the 2017-18 season is shaping for them, follow Hockey Feed on Facebook all day today. And if you’re looking for all the latest news, rumors and analysis on the team throughout the season, be sure to check out Penguins Feed.