Breaking down which defensive players the Penguins must target in the offseason

After grading the offense of the Pittsburgh Penguins roster in the last piece I wrote, I have come up with a defensive side of the game for the Pen's lineup, by trying to acquire a couple of pieces that would complement the roster for the team.
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

First, former GM Ron Hextall had done a brilliant job securing the Pittsburgh Penguins roster's defensive side. Where now GM Kyle Dubas did a little tweaking, and as it stands it did not go well for management.

In my opinion, the reason the Bigs of the team did not perform as well as they should have is because the roster itself was badly out of shape and the depth players needed to make the Penguins roster a complete team did not pan out too well either.

For the most part, the special teams struggled, and the offense did not get going to win most games. However, this season was a learning experience for the newly appointed GM, who will go out of his way to secure a playoff-worthy team, especially challenging for the Stanley Cup in the next 2 years.

This is where I have composed a shopping list of players in the defensive end of the game to try to acquire during this year's 2024 NHL Free Agency and a player on the Pens roster who would make a great trade bait for the team itself.

To start with the trade bait, defenseman Erik Karlsson did not perform to the expectations the Pens management and coaching staff had hoped for. In a question, do you give him another shot with the Penguins team, or do you trade for better assets for the Pens roster?

There are many teams in the NHL that would be interested in Karlsson’s services and perhaps would pay a hefty price to acquire the star defenseman. Also, shedding some cap space would be ideal for management who will look at all aspects of change for the team.

Defensive players the Pittsburgh Penguins should consider pursuing

In a list I compiled, I will take you through two defensemen on the market, who would be ideal for the Penguins roster.

The first player that comes to mind would have to be T.J. Brodie, who currently plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs and will be a free agent this year. His relationship with Kyle Dubas is good in general and he needs a fresh start from a downward spiral with his current team.

He would be that depth player on the defensive side and give his team that added comfort of speed and skill needed to handle the puck in the offensive zone. As Michael Bunting has complemented the roster of the Penguins, Brodie may be that ideal fit.

The second defenseman that comes to mind would have to be Tyson Barrie. Barrie was also acquired by Dubas during his days in Toronto and came out strong for the GM. Similarly to Brodie, his speed and skill would help the ailing roster of the Pittsburgh Penguins and give the team a more polished look to play against.

Both players would make an impact in my opinion and give the team a chance to compete with the current stars. For the most part, this would secure a solid foundation for the Pittsburgh Penguins and give the fans a chance to cheer once again.