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Reilly Smith of the Pittsburgh Penguins going down the bench after scoring a goal.
Photo credit: Post Gazette

Bryan Rust's Injury is a Blow to the Team, or is it an Opportunity for Kyle Dubas

Published February 27, 2024 at 4:32 PM
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Before leaving the ice injured Sunday afternoon against the Flyers, Rust pumped life into the Penguins with two goals. Coach Mike Sullivan confirmed that Rust was still be evaluated.



Not having Rusty in the lineup is damaging to a team that is already down Jake Guentzel until March 10th. But with Rust out, does that help Kyle Dubas in deciding a direction to go with the untouchable core guys?

With Rust Out Dubas Has an Opening to Trade Veteran Penguins




Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust are two of the four Penguins who have more the 15 goals this year. The other two, Crosby and Malkin, are no touch core guys. But Malkin is on a horrible slump, with 2 goals in 21 games.

With that said, Malkin has an assist in each of the last three games, and can get hot to help Crosby carry the offense the rest of the way.

Crosby now lost both of his preferred wingers. He was practicing with and playing with Rickard Rakell and Reilly Smith on the line. Both are capable players to help Crosby continue to crush on offense.

When asked about Smith playing with Crosby, Sullivan added;

«We think Reilly is a real talented player. He's got a high hockey IQ. I think he has the ability to play the game that Sid likes to play.»



If nothing else, this will give Smith and Rakell the opportunity to turn around a less then par type of season with the Penguins. Smith at times has even looked disinterested in playing after his season winning the Cup with the Golden Knights.

Reilly Smith, is available for Dubas to trade if the option arises. Best case scenario for Dubas is that Crosby helps both Rakell and Smith get some goals, perform well, and get Smith in a position that allows for Dubas to trade him without having to retain his salary.

That will then open up a hopefully bidding war for Guentzel between GM's, and potentially start the rebuild of the Penguins.

As Read On: The Athletic - Bryan Rust's injury is blow to Penguins but potential opportunity for Kyle Dubas
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February 27   |   127 answers
Bryan Rust's Injury is a Blow to the Team, or is it an Opportunity for Kyle Dubas

Do you think that Rust's injury will open up the opportunity for other players to perform better?

Yes9272.4 %
No3527.6 %
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