It’s time! It’s finally October, and if you’re a Pittsburgh Penguins fan you know what that means. REGULAR SEASON HOCKEY!
After a long, long offseason, hockey is finally back. As Pittsburgh Penguins fans, that means our team will soon be back on the ice to defend our back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.
All eyes will be on us this season since we just won our second straight Cup. Our offseason saw many departures and many newcomers. While the lineup has been forming over the course of the summer, it should nearly be ready by now.
Puck drop for our first game is this Wednesday versus the St. Louis Blues. And to make it even better, it’s also our home opener! It’s an exciting time Penguins fans, but let’s take a quick look at what happened over the offseason.
The Pens didn’t make too many trades this offseason. The most significant was acquiring Ryan Reaves from the St. Louis Blues on draft night. He’ll surely bring more toughness to our team in order to protect our star players. He’s also pretty good as a forward.
We’ll have to see how this one pans out. There was a lot of criticism surrounding this pickup, but I think it really helps ensure our team doesn’t get tossed around.
The Penguins signed a number of free agents this offseason, and it started on July 1st. The Penguins signed Matt Hunwick from the Toronto Maple Leafs after losing Ron Hainsey to the same team.
The Penguins also went out and signed goaltender Antti Niemi from the Dallas Stars. Niemi may have been struggling in recent years, but his presumed role as backup to Matt Murray may actually work out well.
The Penguins also signed Jay McClement to a tryout deal, but was later released.
The Hunt for the Third-Line Centre
This has gone on all offseason. After Nick Bonino left as a free agent for the Nashville Predators, the Penguins have been searching for a replacement. Well now it looks like we’ll be starting the season without a new replacement.
GM Jim Rutherford has said he doesn’t worry too much about finding a replacement since Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin can carry the weight. But it would still be nice to find our permanent solution sooner than later. The season is just about here and we don’t want to put too much pressure on these guys.