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Penguins Will Benefit From Ty Smith Over PO Joseph

Ty Smith and PO Joseph was one of the biggest battles at Pittsburgh Penguins training camp.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have seen a couple of position battles through 2022 trainign camp and preseason, but a newcomer might be beating out a top prospect for a spot in the roster.

Defensemen PO Joseph and Ty Smith have been fighting for the Penguins’ third line blue line role and Smith seems to have emerged as the winner.

Throughout camp and preseason, Smith has been given multiple votes of confidence.

Head coach Mike Sullivan has skated Smith in multiple preseason games, and pinned him with Jan Rutta for a majority of training camp.

Sullivan himself has even said they are attempting to build a chemistry between Smith and Rutta.

“Jan’s a pretty solid, stay-at-home guy,” Sullivan said. “Ty’s got good offensive instincts.”

From all accounts, it seems that Smith has been downright outplaying Joseph and earning his stripes on the blue line.

Smith isn’t just playing full strength with Rutta, but taking a spot on the Penguins second power play unit with Jeff Petry.

The offensive upside on Smith far outweighs that of Joseph, aiding in filling the hole left by Mike Matheson.

Another aspect that gives Smith the upper hand over Joseph is the NHL experience.

Smith is entering his third NHL season and has already clocked in for 114 games with 43 points.

Since being acquired by the Penguins in 2019, Joseph has only been held to 20 games.

Not only has Smith been given the upper-hand at every turn, but he also hasn’t been shopped around for a trade like Joseph has.

According to a report from Daily Faceff’s Frank Seravalli, Penguins general manager Ron Hextall has called all 31 other teams in the NHL about a deal for Joseph.

That should all but guarantee the spot is Smith’s, and that’s the right move for the team.

Smith’s upsides and play has overshadowed Joseph’s and made him look like the better player, and Sullivan has said they want the best team on the ice.

“We’re trying to do our very best to field the best team.”

If Smith is the better player, you have to put prospect rankings, and friendships with veterans aside.

The future of Joseph in Pittsburgh may be in jeopardy, but the Penguins as a team are looking to be better off with Smith in the lineup.

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