Plotting Ray Shero’s Next Move For the Pittsburgh Penguins

July 6th, 2010 by Steve Rodenbaugh Leave a reply »
Once again, Ray Shero doesn't disappoint. 

Despite entering this year's free agency frenzy with a lot of question marks, Shero made the biggest splash on July 1st by revamping the Penguins defense into one of, if not the, deepest blue line units in the league. 

By adding Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek, the Penguins have a group of defensemen who are both offensively capable and defensively sound, and who can play the uptempo puck-pressure game that Dan Bylsma implemented when he arrived in February 2009. 

To quote ESPN observer Pierre LeBrun, the Pens "can start printing Stanley Cup Final tickets for the new arena." 

In a second bold move, Shero has laid the groundwork for the promotion of Jordan Staal to the second line, and shifted Evgeni Malkin from center to wing where he belongs.  Freed up from the extra defensive duties, Malkin should return to his Conn Smythe form this year.  Coupled with the pairing of Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby, the move gives the Pens as good a top four forward group as anyone in the league. 

While it remains to be seen who fills the oth ...

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