Pittsburgh Penguins Could Get Top-Six Help With Pascal Dupuis’ Return


As the season has finally come to an end, many Pittsburgh Penguins fans are excited for what could happen during these next few weeks. As all the excitement towards the NHL draft and free agency frenzy has fans going crazy, they should be more excited about the return of Pascal Dupuis to the Penguins roster.

More from Penguins News

There have been discussions from just about every fan regarding Dupuis and whether he could maintain his top-6 role after coming off of a blood clot, and that answer is why couldn’t he?

Dupuis may be 36 years of age but his speed and natural ability to create space will not be affected. Plenty of skating and high-octane training on the ice over the course of the year allows Dupuis to maintain his “old” legs. Maybe that is something Chris Kunitz could mimic to easier adjust to the faster play the game shows today.

Many people believe Dupuis will have to welcome a new role as a speedy third line checking forward. Even though he is getting older, Head Coach Mike Johnston should be very open with the idea of having duper back on the first line flanking Sidney Crosby.

When Dupuis is on the first line Crosby flourishes. In the 16 games Dupuis appeared this past season Crosby had 7 goals, 18 assists and 25 points while leading the league by a wide margin at that point in the season. Other than the power play, Dupuis was on the ice for the majority of these points scored.

Sid is not the only beneficiary from playing alongside Dupuis. Kunitz had 8 goals and 8 assists playing with Duper last season, and it isn’t far-fetched to give some credit to number 9 for contributing to Kunitz’ 35 goals one year ago. Let’s not forget that 9-87-14 were the best line in hockey when they were together.

If you put Dupuis on the first line next season, your top-6 will be 9-87-14 and 39-71-72. If Kunitz can return to form, that will be one heck of a top-six.

Putting Dupuis on the top line will also give the Pens depth down the lineup. With players like Kasperi Kapanen slated to get top-6 minutes next year and Beau Bennett right beside him, that could give Brandon Sutter scoring wingers he deserves and a pretty good 3rd line. Oskar Sundqvist is also a highly regarded prospect projected to fill big minutes next year.

The Pens could have a pretty good line up next season. If they do in fact land another top-six forward this offseason then this offense could reach the top in the league once again. If Dupuis picks up where he left off, expect another dominant first line from the Penguins.

Next: Pens Rumors - J.T. Miller Offer Sheet and Sergei Kostitsyn Possibility

More from Pens Labyrinth