Breaking down which offseason moves the Pittsburgh Penguins must make at forward

The Pittsburgh Penguins went on a spectacular run down the stretch near the end of the season. However, they did not make the playoffs. To improve the team for next season, let's check out a list of players, management should pursue during the 2024 NHL Free Agency.
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

During the 2023-24 regular season, the fans experienced frustration, dismay, and most importantly crucial losses. Where it could have elevated the confidence of the Pittsburgh Penguins team in general, and very importantly the fanbase.

However, the regular season did not seem like a loss and it may have implications for the upcoming 2024 NHL Free Agency that takes effect on July 1st. But, before that, the 2024 NHL Draft will take effect a few days before the free agency.

The crucial aspect of this season has to be the weaknesses the team experienced during this year and how it will affect the choices and decisions management makes. For instance, the power play unit was not as effective this year as in the past, and the top core of the team did not produce as much as expected.

This is where General Manager Kyle Dubas will look to improve the team’s outlook and perhaps turn it into a Stanley Cup contender team next year. To start with the offense, there will be several talented names hitting the free agency market, not to mention that there will also be players available to take this team to another level.

With the defense, there will most likely have to be changes and major acquisitions to accompany an agile group of players that was set by former general manager Ron Hextall, but, dismantled by the current GM of the team.

Under the mini-rebuild, several names come into play, and I have worked on which forwards the Pens should pursue to complete a polished look of the Pittsburgh Penguins team.

Forwards the Pittsburgh Penguins should pursue during the free agency

The first name that comes to mind would have to be at center Sean Monahan. Depending if he signs an extension with the Winnipeg Jets, he will be ideal for a potential second or third-line centerman who would give the team a depth forward and also consistent goal scorer, especially playmaker in nature.

The second centerman or alternate to Monahan, would have to be Matt Duchene. He is an all-around forward who can do his part to make the team better. His skill would match up with the likes of Evgeni Malkin at center and provide the speed the team needs even as a veteran.

To help an ailing right and left wing throughout the lines on the team, it would be evident that these players would provide ample amount of offense and give the team a defensive effort to make the Pens roster more complete.

Not taking anything away from Reily Smith. This team needs a fresh start and to me, Smith is an asset for the Penguins management who can utilize him to acquire more in-depth pieces that would improve the team. If I were to choose, because of his playoff experience, he could be utilized at next year’s trade deadline to make the team complete for a playoff push.

Wingers that are essential to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup to consider

At left or right wing, I would pursue Jake DeBrusk, who is an incredibly talented forward who would indeed help the top two lines contribute with points that would complement the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who desperately need help with speed and toughness.

On the other side of the ice, two players come to mind that would fit the criteria for a complete roster on the ice. The first is Tyler Toffoli, who would benefit from the likes of the core and would also contribute to every aspect of combinations made to score goals and make plays.

These forwards would make a huge impact on the team and it may come together during this time frame with a handful of players that would be signed. For the bottom-six lineup, Anthony Beauvillier would be a perfect fit into the roster that would complement his role as a complete third-line forward. To me, this is an ideal time to get excited My Yinzers!!