3 players who won’t be back next season

May 13, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) takes on the New York Rangers during the first period of game six of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins came just short in the seventh game against the Rangers and are now facing a difficult offseason with players leaving the team.

This is possibly the toughest off-season for penguins have faced in a decade. The team has several key players on expiring contracts, including Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Kasperi Kapanen, Bryan Rust and Rickard Rakell.

It will be interesting to see Pittsburgh re-sign players because they can’t keep them all. Here’s who is most likely to find a new team.

Penguins That Won’t Come Back: Kris Letang

Kris Letang has just completed his 16th season with the Penguins, so it would be a tough send-off for the organization and the fans. Still, Letang is a 35-year-old defenseman who will cost the team more than $7 million annually.

Letang had one of his best seasons this year, helping Pittsburgh to a third-place finish in the Metropolitan Division. He had one career high 68 points and retained the highest plus-minus of his 16-year tenure. The veteran defenseman will want to retire at Pittsburgh, but not for a salary below his talent level.

This team’s main concern will be to maintain its strong offense. Four of the top six forwards will be free agents if the team doesn’t pay them this summer. Letang will be the second priority for the penguins, but they probably won’t have enough money after paying Malkin and Rakell.

The Penguins will look to their young defenders to fill the void Letang left next season. Marcus Pettersson and John Marino are both under the age of 27 and appear to be becoming prolific defenders at the NHL level. Look for any of them to instantly slip into the first defensive pairing.

https://fansided.com/2022/05/20/penguins-rumors-3-players-wont-back/ 3 players who won’t be back next season

John Verrall

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