Looking ahead to the Pittsburgh Penguins new season, there were plenty of off-season changes to the team. One included the departure of Sergei Gonchar leaving town to join the Ottawa Senators blue line core. You know by now that Ray Shero traded away Ryan Whitney not long ago, and to know that Gonchar left the team, the offensive attack will be in question. On the other hand, the defensive defensemen such as Rob Scuderi, Hal Gill also took turns going to the LA Kings and Montréal Canadiens. These 4 players are definitely big pieces to the Stanley Cup winning squad, but they are all somewhere else now.
That begs the question: Does the new-look defense have enough to overcome the hurdles?
Let's look at some of the players looking to become mainstays on this Penguin defense:
D Paul Martin--signed in free agency from rival New Jersey Devils, good two-way d-man
D Zbynek Michalek--signed in free agency from Phoenix Coyotes, good stay-at-home d-man
D Brooks Orpik--perhaps the most experienced D on the Penguins left over
D Kris Letang--smooth puck-moving D who is growing into his own, should play a bigger role
D Alex Goligoski--offensive-minded D who excels at rushing the puck and playing Powerplay
D Unknown--we have yet to see Ray Shero sign his sixed defenseman, but we know that will be filled before opening day.
One of the biggest concerns with the new defense is its overall toughness. There isn't one particular player other than maybe Brooks Orpik that will scare away the fast skating forward out in the Atlantic and Eastern Conference. Martin and Michalek may be solid defensively, but can they help clear traffic in front of Marc-Andre Fleury? Many questions left unanswered...if you have a question of your own, feel free to share with us on the Pittsbugh Penguins.
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