On the heels of a Stanley Cup Championship and a three year contract, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma is already looking towards next season.
With the opportunity to conduct a full training camp this September, Bylsma expects the team to become more familiar with the Penguins new system, which he believes, will lead the Penguins to playing even more aggressive than they did during the final three months of the season.
A key to the Penguins up-tempo system under Bylsma, is aggressiveness in the neutral zone and moving the puck up efficiently through the neutral zone from their defensemen.
On the backend the Penguins have their pieces in place with three puck moving defensemen in Alex Goligoski, Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang.
Pittsburgh expects Kris Letang to continue his development towards a high/end #3 defenseman, while the team is very excitied about what Alex Goligoski will do next season.
Playing in Dan Bylsma’s system, Pittsburgh believes Goligoski will flourish next season as some scouts indicate he’s the best puck moving defenseman on their roster.
News and Notes
Ray Shero has identified Paul Bissonnette, Dustin Jeffrey and Tim Wallace as prime candidates to battle for a roster spot. Bylsma is very high Bissonnette as he played a strong part in Bissonnette’s development in moving to forward.
Publically, Shero has identified Luca Caputi but the Penguins want Caputi to have a strong
training camp similar to Tyler Kennedy a few seasons ago and then spend a couple months in Wilkes Barre.
On the backend, Ben Lovejoy and Brian Strait are being identified as candidates for a roster spot but Strait needs atleast a year in Wilkes Barre. Lovejoy will likely earn a spot.
Ray Shero on pursuit of a veteran defenseman
“We’re still looking for another defenseman but we’re going to wait and see on that, to see exactly what will transpire. We’ve been in touch with a number of guys that are unrestricted. Or we could make a trade. We’ll wait and see. We have five defensemen signed right now so I think we’re in good shape. We’re just trying to find the right guy, the right fit for us. Maybe we’ll give younger guys an opportunity”
Penguins Developmental Camp in a few weeks
The Penguins will hold a developmental camp in a few weeks for their prospects. We’ll be covering the whole event. Eric Tangradi is slated to participate which will be the first time he will be on the ice since injuring his hand.
It’s believed that Ray Shero didn’t have any backup plans if Ruslan Fedotenko went in another direction. There were no deals pending with players they inquired about like Ales Kotalik, and Taylor Pyatt. From the sounds of things, they were exploring trade options a bit more.
Tomorrow will be a quiet day for the Penguins. Not expected to be active.
Current Depth Chart (Forwards)
Kunitz – Crosby – Guerin
Fedotenko – Malkin – Talbot
Cooke – Staal – Kennedy
Dupuis – Rupp – Adams