While much has been made of the trade that sent James Neal to Nashville and the big impact the deal will have on the top two lines, the bigger story is how different the Penguins' bottom lines will be next season.
With Pascal Dupuis returning from a season-ending knee injury and Beau Bennett returning to action after yet another wrist surgery, the Pens' top two lines figure to be Sidney Crosby once again centering Chris Kunitz and Dupuis with Evgeni Malkin probably centering Bennett and newcomer Patric Hornqvist.
Assuming he's resigned, Brandon Sutter will once again center the third line, but the Pens will have flexibility as Blake Comeau can play either wing, Nick Spaling can play center or either wing and Steve Downie could play on any line as either a forechecker or a bodyguard for Crosby or Malkin.
After a strong showing in the postseason, Marcel Goc will reprise his role as the fourth center and faceoff specialist, with Craig Adams on one wing and an AHL product such as Zach Sill or Jayson Megna filling the other spot.
Overall, the Pens' top-six forwards are, at least on paper, not as talented as last season's group, but their bottom-six forwards will be much improved next season and will be able to take some of the burden off of the top lines.
Last season, the Pens had only six forwards reach double digits in goals, while the two conference champions, the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers, had eight and nine forwards respectively reach that mark.
With eight players on the roster who have 20-plus goal seasons already on their resume, the Pens should be a deeper and much more balanced team next season.