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Insider Only Sunday’s Penguins Buzz: Vision of Hockey Club Coming Together; Details on Beau Bennett situation

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The Penguins had a major identity crisis last season from management to the coaching staff. How the Penguins wanted to play and were built seemed to change on a month by month basis.

Things went from the Penguins wanting to be a possession team with four scoring lines that had Mike Johnston in his first training camp telling reporters any player who dumps the puck in will be “tasered.”

A couple months later, suddenly the organization bought into a philosophy of trying to win games 2-1 and going out and acquire players like Max Lapierre and Daniel Winnik.

The Penguins mid-season adjustments during the 2014-2015 season were abysmal, highlighted by the Simon Despres trade. The Penguins biggest issue was that they were reacting to others.

This season started out the same. The Penguins were slow, lacked a youth enthusiasm in their lineup and had an identity crisis again.

While the coaching staff and management group were not on the same page, which was a problem for a group just a year into a relationship, management at least had a vision since the summer of how the Penguins should be built and have stuck to it after it took a few months to come to fruition.

Things started slowly changing when Pascal Dupuis was forced to retire. As sad as it was for many in the organization to see Dupuis have to call it quits, it was a blessing for the Penguins on-ice.

Then the perfect storm happened in the Penguins becoming a faster, attacking team in the months ahead.

The coaching change, Trevor Daley for Rob Scuderi, Carl Hagelin for David Perron and maybe just as important, injuries to disappointing players like Nick Bonino, Beau Bennett that opened opportunities for players like Bryan Rust, Tom Kuhnhackl to get legitimate shots to earn full-time roles and add the dynamic to the Penguins lineup they haven’t had in young players coming to the rink everyday because they love to play the game, not because it’s their job to show up.

Bennett’s time as a Penguins nearing an end

Beau Bennett is an extremely honest person, which is a great thing, but Bennett informing the Penguins in early February he needed some time away from the team to contemplate his future hasn’t won him over Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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