The 07-08 season was a great accomplishment for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not very many teams can make the claim that the year prior they were on the verge of being shipped out to Oklahoma City, and the next there they were making a run for The Stanley Cup.
They did all this with a vast amount of youth, and a few veterans to help guide them on their way. This great balance of youth and veterans is what led the Penguins to their amazing run through the playoffs and into the finals.
The bad thing about this though is that all good things must come to an end, and that can clearly be seen by what the Penguins have done in their off-season.
When the Penguins acquired Marian Hossa at the trade deadline I believed that he would have been a rental for the rest of the year, unless he put up great numbers in the post-season that would make fans and the organization to sign him in the off season.
He did just that, he came through with flying colors in the playoffs, but in the end he turned out to be just a rental, having been lured to the Detroit Red Wings, because he only wants to win a championship.
Along with the loss of Marian Hossa the Penguins also lost, Jarkko Ruutu, Gary Roberts, Adam Hall, Ryan Malone, Georges Laraque. All these had a large impact on the Penguins run to the cup.
Don't fret though the Penguins have signed their big name players to long term contracts, and they have also signed Ruslan Fedotenko and Miroslav Satan which will help to ease the loss of those players.
I think that the Penguins overall losses were pretty great this off-season, but they have also made deals with their big name players and have gone out and signed players to help out.
With all of these additions and moves made by the organization, the Penguins should be right where they were last year, as one of the top teams in the East and the favorite to go to finals. *And help Hossa realize he made a big mistake by leaving*
I will say now in July that the Penguins will end next season as the top team in the East and return to the Stanley Cup finals. The skill of Crosby and Malkin, and the strong defense of Gonchar and Orpik will help push their way through.
Do not forget, though, that brick wall behind the pipes: Marc-Andre Fleury. He became a top tier goaltender last season, and I see no reason why he will not continue where he left off last season.