Earlier this offseason Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford spoke at length about his team’s need to acquire a winger for superstar center Evgeni Malkin. So… then what did Rutherford do? He traded Malkin’s most consistent linemate, Phil Kessel. Acquired in the Kessel trade though was young forward Alex Galchenyuk, who most Penguins fans and analysts assumed would be put in Kessel’s spot on the Penguins’ second line.
Not so fast though says Penguins insider Dan Kingerski.
In his most recent article for Pittsburgh Hockey Now, Kingerski citing a source close to the situation, reports that the team’s plan is now to start Galchenyuk on the first line, alongside Sidney Crosby rather than Malkin.
This means the Penguins’ forward lines would shape up as follows:
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Alex GalchenyukJared McCann - Evgeni Malkin - Patric HornqvistZach Aston-Reese - Nick Bjugstad - Bryan RustBrandon Tanev - Teddy Blueger - Dominik Kahun
One thing’s for sure, if Galchenyuk ends up lining up alongside Crosby he’ll be expected to establish new career highs. The 25 year old former 3rd overall pick managed just 19 goals and 41 points in 72 games with the Arizona Coyotes last season.