Pittsburgh Penguins: A Look at Our Defence Core For Next Season


The Pittsburgh Penguins have made a lot of offseason decisions which really changed the look of our roster.

Looking at the Pittsburgh Penguins defence core, there have been quite a few changes. Trevor Daley went to Detroit. Mark Streit went to Montreal. Ron Hainsey went to Toronto.

With these losses came additions however. We added Matt Hunwick from the Toronto Maple Leafs, who is a capable third pairing defenceman who can eat up minutes. Also, you can count Kris Letang as an addition as he returns from injury. We won the Cup without him, so the all-star’s return is still a signficant addition.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins /

Pittsburgh Penguins

But let’s take a closer look at the defensive core for next season.

The Team

As of right now, this seems to be the defensive core we’ll be heading in to the season with.

Kris Letang
Justin Schultz
Brian Dumoulin
Matt Hunwick
Olli Maatta
Ian Cole

Kris Letang will obviously step back in as the #1 defenceman. Justin Schultz may also be upgraded to #2, or at least playing #2 minutes. We can expect the pairings to look something like this:

Maatta – Letang
Cole – Schultz
Dumoulin – Hunwick

This defensive core looks very capable of bringing a lot of success to Pittsburgh this season. Letang’s return really bolsters this defensive core quite a lot. With Dumoulin resigned long-term and Maatta continuing to develop well, we should be fine going forward. But one thing I feel as thoughw e can improve on is our depth.

Filling Holes

I’ve been talking about this all off-season, but the Penguins defensive core has lost some key players. As of now, we have a very solid starting lineup good to go, and they may even better than they were last year. But I feel like it still lacks some depth. In case of injuries, which plagued us last season, I would like to see us have some more strong defenceman who we can turn to. This may be hard to do with our cap situation, but minor adjustments can go a long way.

There is still time in the off-season to make adjustments and add more depth. We’ll see if we do end up improving our defence with the cap space and assets we have.