For the next eight days CSNWashington.com will continue our team-by-team look at the three divisions in the Eastern Conference. Every weekday well profile a new team and break down the changes they made in the offseason.
This week: Atlantic Division. Today: Pittsburgh Penguins
20011-12 Record: 51-25-6, 108 points
Where they finished: 4th in Atlantic; 4th in East; 4th in NHL
Coach: Dan Bylsma, 5th season
Key arrivals: C Brandon Sutter, LW Tanner Glass, RW Benn Ferriero, D Brian Dumoulin, G Tomas Vokoun
Key departures: C Jordan Staal, LW Steve Sullivan, RW Arron Asham
RW Richard Park, RW Jason Williams, D Zbynek Michalek, G Brent Johnson
Chris Kunitz- Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Matt Cooke - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Eric Tangradi - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Dustin Jeffrey
Brooks Orpik - Kris Letang
Paul Martin - Matt Niskanen
Simon Despres - Deryk Engelland
Ben Lovejoy - Brian Strait
Marc-Andre Fleury - Tomas Vokoun
Our Take: Like the Capitals, the Penguins played much of last season without their best playmaking center Sidney Crosby and top puck-moving defenseman Kris Letang and they believe theyll be better this season simply by being healthier. Financial constraints forced the Pens to unload third-line center Jordan Staal, but Brandon Sutter is a suitable replacement considering his projected ice time behind Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The Pens are a little weaker on the blue line with the loss of Zbynek Michalek but have more depth between the pipes with the addition of former Caps netminder Tomas Vokoun. The biggest question in Pittsburgh is whether Crosbys concussion issues are a thing of the past, especially considering his 12-year, 104.4 million contract extension.
Offseason grade: C
Will they make the 2013 playoffs? Yes.
Projected finish in the East: 4th in East
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