The Pittsburgh Penguins are in a similar situation that the Capitals find themselves in. The Penguins have struggled in recent playoff series and their core is aging, quickly. The Capitals have the edge when it comes to scoring, physicality and depth but if Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang stay healthy, the Penguins will remain a dangerous team in the 2021-2022 season. Armed with a well-rounded team and not a lot of cap-space, this offseason was far from notable for Penguins’ fans.
The Pens did lose a few notable players. Jared McCann, who filled in admirably during Malkin’s absence was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brandon Tanev who was selected by the Kraken and Cody Ceci who signed with the Edmonton Oilers are the losses that will hurt Pittsburgh the most. Losing McCann and his 32 points would be the biggest blow if Crosby, Malkin or Jeff Carter were to miss any significant amount of time in the upcoming season. The four-year contract that Pittsburgh awarded to Brock McGinn is a solid deal for both sides. The thought around Pittsburgh is that McGinn can fill part of the void left by Tanev.
"“I think I’m a 200-foot player who’s going to bring energy, who’s going to play that physical style and also contribute offensively,” he said. “My mindset is not going to change. … I’m going to come out, bring energy for the guys and try to win as many games as we can and hopefully bring a Cup to the city of Pittsburgh.”"
Ron Hextall did a good job filling Tanev’s role with the McGinn signing. The question in Pittsburgh will be their goaltending and if they will be able to stay healthy. Without blowing up their core roster, the Penguins didn’t have much wiggle room on their team. Given the circumstances, they had a decent offseason. It won’t be enough to catapult them above the more-talented Capitals and Hurricanes nor will they get above the pesky Islanders but the Penguins will once again compete in the Metropolitan Division. This division will be close and the Penguins will be right in the thick of things, just like they are every year it seems. It’s anybody’s guess as to exactly where they will finish.