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Penguins Wrap: Promising Prospects; Lingering Questions



Owen Pickering, Pittsburgh Penguins

Seemed like kind of an anticlimactic week for the Pittsburgh Penguins, didn’t it?

There was no blockbuster trade, like the three-team deal Kyle Dubas put together earlier in the month to acquire Erik Karlsson, or even any serious speculation that they were pursuing one.

The biggest personnel issue to develop focused on free-agent winger Tomas Tatar, and whether the Penguins should seriously consider trying to sign him, especially with Jake Guentzel scheduled to miss at least the first five games of the coming season while recovering from ankle surgery.

While it isn’t known whether Dubas will vigorously pursue Tatar, it’s conceivable that he will tweak the roster a bit before training camp opens in about a month, although he’s given no public indication about any move he might be considering.

Here’s a look at how the Pittsburgh Penguins’ past seven days played out:


These are the top five prospects in the Penguins’ developmental pipeline. Including a guy who’s new to the No. 1 spot. (+)


Here’s a rundown of the reasons the Penguins should try to sign Tomas Tatar. And why they shouldn’t.


There’s no doubt that Kyle Dubas has made the Penguins better, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still have a few questions.


Who could be an option to provide scoring on the Penguins’ bottom two lines if they don’t sign Tomas Tatar?


Former Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith, who went to Montreal in the Karlsson deal, might not have a long stay with the Canadiens.

Erik Karlsson earned his third Norris Trophy during the past season. What does his history say about what the Pittsburgh Penguins can expect from him in 2023-24?


Defenseman Jan Rutta, who went to San Jose in the deal that brought Erik Karlsson to the Penguins, appears to be in line for an upgraded role with the Sharks.


There are some intriguing free agents still on the market. Here are three to whom the Penguins should consider offering professional tryouts.