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State of the Penguins: Will Big Gambles Pay Off or Bust? | PHN+

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Pittsburgh Penguins lines Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin

There can be little question the Pittsburgh Penguins gambled this offseason. GM Jim Rutherford wanted to get younger, hungrier, and maybe a little bit faster. While he achieved speed and youth, he also bet big on players who had subpar 2019-20 seasons in hopes the Penguins franchise and culture could right their performances.

Kasperi Kapanen, Mike Matheson, Evan Rodrigues, and Mark Jankowski all had better 2018-19 seasons, in some cases much better, than they did last season. (Update: newest free-agent signee Cody Ceci also falls into that category).

“Kasperi is a good, young player that brings speed to our lineup and plays the way we want to play,” Rutherford said after the trade. “Having previously drafted him, we know him as a player and feel he can improve our top-six.”

The Penguins also said goodbye to heart and soul player Patric Hornqvist, who had a rebound year (pun intended) with 16 goals.

Are the Pittsburgh Penguins better off today than they were seven months ago?

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