Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/08/14 at 06:20 AM ET
from Wes Crosby at NHL.com,
Will the new-look roster produce a better result? -- These are not the same Penguins that bowed out in the second round of the 2014 playoffs.
Forward James Neal was traded to the Nashville Predators in exchange for forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. Forwards Jussi Jokinen, Joe Vitale and Tanner Glass are gone, as are defensemen Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik and Deryk Engelland.
A noteworthy portion of the Penguins' lineup has been lost, but they've used the past few months to fill some of their roster holes. Pittsburgh signed defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who should make losing Niskanen and Orpik more manageable, as well as forwards Steve Downie and Blake Comeau.
Will Kris Letang return to form? -- Letang had a rough 2013-14 season. He missed 45 games due to several injuries, including a stroke sustained in late January.
But after being paired with defenseman Paul Martin a few games into the playoffs, Letang's defensive game dramatically improved while his notable offensive skill set remained intact. He is expected to enter the season paired with Martin, which could see him return to the level he reached as a Norris Trophy finalist in 2012-13.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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