Mid Summer Report: Pittsburgh Penguins

download (30)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Pittsburgh Penguins

Last Season’s Finish:  48-26-8, 107 pts, 2nd in the Metropolitan Division, Won the Stanley Cup

Key Arrivals:

  • None

Key Departures:

  • F Beau Bennett (New Jersey)
  • D Ben Lovejoy (New Jersey)
  • G Jeff Zatkoff (Los Angeles)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Oscar Sundqvist
  • F Scott Wilson
  • D Derrick Pouliot

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $75,299,999
  • Current salary cap space: $0 ($2,299,999 over cap)

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Evgeny Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Patrik Hornqvist, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kunitz, Eric Fehr, Nick Bonino, Oskar Sundqvist, Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust, Tom Kuhnhackl, Scott Wilson, Pascal Dupuis
Defensemen
Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Trevor Daley, Ian Cole, Justin Schultz, Derrick Pouliot, Brian Dimoulin
Goalies
Marc-Andre Fleury, Matthew Murray

 

Outlook:
The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup.  You can’t have a much better season than that.  It didn’t come without struggles, though.  On January 1, 2016, they were sitting in 10th or 11th in the east, and on the outside, looking in on the playoff picture.  But after New Year’s, they just got better and better as the season went on.  They finished the season winning 14 of 15, before losing their last regular season game, which was essentially a throwaway game.  They stayed white hot throughout the playoffs.  The scariest part for everyone that is not Pittsburgh fans is, They are returning almost their whole entire team this season.  They did lose a few role players, but those guys can easily be replaced by young guys.  The only issue they have at the moment is that they are currently $2.3 million over the salary cap ceiling.  Pascal Dupuis (and his $3.75M cap hit) is on long term injured reserve, and will not be returning to hockey, so they are allowed to go over by the amount of his salary, but that still leaves then tight against the cap this season.  But for now, Pittburgh is in great shape, and are poised for another deep playoff run again in 2016-2017.