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The Pittsburgh Penguins including Marcus Pettersson, Kris Letang and Rickard Rakell celebrate a goal in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes
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Kyle Dubas' Best Plan of Attack is Revealed

Published January 26, 2024 at 1:19 PM
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It seems like every discussion was around Jake Guentzel lately, and how the Penguins should not trade him, keep him and make a playoff run for this season.

Now that we are nearly the All-Star break and the Penguins are coming off of two losses that could have been wins, the story is changing. Currently sitting outside of the wildcard spot, 7 points to be exact, there is still time for some changes. The Pens have some games in hand against some of the teams, and really the wildcard race is still very much a possibility. Here is where they stand.



We have to take a look at the current Penguins team. This is a team that has not put a decent win streak together since November winning 5 in a row. But, that does not mean they should be looking to just sell assets and chalk this season up as another non-playoff year.


Kyle Dubas has Some Difficult Decisions to Make and They Need to Happen Very Soon



The way it looks now, there are only about 6 teams that can be considered as completely out of the playoffs. So, we are looking at a sellers' market, the value for players will be high to playoff contenders, and there are not that many to choose from.

This team, the way it is built right now, is not a Stanley Cup contender. So, should Dubas move Guentzel, or maybe P.O. Joseph before the trade deadline. Maybe. But they should be looking into the future couple of seasons.

The Washington Capitals did something similar to what Dubas and the Penguins should consider. They did not move all their assets last season, but they allowed for players to move on, cut their losses and looked to focus on next season.

Rather they get rid of players for near nothing, the Penguins should hold firm, and come draft and off-season free agency look to make some moves with teams when the playing field is back to square one.

It may be an unpopular decision, moving the likes of Bryan Rust and Marcus Pettersson. But hard choices have to be made if the Penguins want to try to be competitive in the next couple of seasons while Crosby, Letang and Malkin are still on the team.

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Deadline moves like Lars Eller and Reilly Smith could also be attractive to Cup contenders where the Penguins may receive some prospects or draft picks. And then there is Jake Guentzel. The true likelihood is that the Penguins will be unable to sign him. They are looking at a cap space of about $18 this off-season.

Shipping out players like Guentzel could set up the team to have younger, faster players.

Kyle Dubas does have a lot to think about. He has postponed making any major changes or decisions a couple of times, but at some point we are going to learn if the Penguins are all in now, or in for the future.

As Read On: CBS News Pittsburgh - Penguins Perspectives: Manipulating the market
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Kyle Dubas' Best Plan of Attack is Revealed

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