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Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby—the faces of the Penguins.
The tandem of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin is the face of the Penguins franchise. They have two Hart Trophies and three Art Ross Trophies between them.
They may be the face, but there’s much more to the Penguins' core than “Sid the Kid” and Geno.
James Neal proved last season that he will be a mainstay in Pittsburgh for years to come. Skating alongside Malkin, Neal exploded offensively and finished the season with 81 points. If not for him, Malkin might not have led the NHL in scoring.
Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis have become core players for the Penguins too. Even though they’re both 33 years old, they’ve been important wingers and have aided the development of the team’s brightest stars.
While they don’t contribute to the “youthful” aspect of the Penguins' core of forwards, they will continue to have a veteran impact on the team’s up-and-coming offensive prospects.
Kris Letang is the team’s marquee defenseman, and rightfully so. He’s been a consistent offensive contributor since he debuted in 2007.
While the team doesn’t have a particularly strong defensive core beyond Letang, it will become progressively stronger as more prospects find their way to the Penguins roster. This can already be seen in Despres’ performance since becoming a recurring blueliner.
Fleury is the final member of the club’s young core of players. In fact, he's more than a member of the team's core—he's the glue that holds everything together.
Having an elite backup like Vokoun should pay off big time for the Penguins by keeping Fleury from getting too fatigued heading into the postseason.
Even without an elite backup, Fleury’s always been one of the most vital players for the Penguins. He’s never been a Vezina-caliber goaltender, but he’s already proven he can carry the team to a Stanley Cup.
At only 28 years old, Fleury’s talent in the crease will continue to be one of the biggest components for the Penguins' attempts to start a dynasty.
Michael Prunka is a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Stay up to date with him by liking his Facebook page and following him on Twitter.