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At first in the East, the Pittsburgh Penguins are currently the team to beat in the conference. After acquiring Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jussi Jokinen, the team's management has shown its commitment to winning now.
The next few offseasons will be difficult for the Penguins. After this season, Iginla, Morrow, Murray, Pascal Dupuis, Craig Adams, Matt Cooke and Mark Eaton will all be unrestricted free agents, and the team will have to make some decisions on who to keep. But more importantly, the team has to plan for the following offseason.
After the 2013-14 season, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Jokinen, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang, Matt Niskanen and Tomas Vokoun will be UFAs. Brandon Sutter will also be a restricted free agent. This class of free agents includes a number of key Penguins, and many of them will be earning raises.
In order to prepare for the upcoming free agents while also negotiating with this year's, Penguins management may need to trade one of the 2014 UFAs to clear some space. Is it going to be Malkin or Letang? Most likely not. But depending on how contract negotiations go, some very talented players could be hitting the trade block.