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Penguins Big Guns Back at Camp This Season

After missing last season, the Pittsburgh Penguins top stars will participate in training camp.

The wait is almost over. The Pittsburgh Penguins will return to the ice for training camp later this week, marking the beginning of the 2022-23 campaign. There will be plenty of new faces and many young players fighting for spots, but there will also be something we didn't see last year, a healthy veteran presence.

Last season, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby did not participate in the Penguin's training camp due to injuries that would force them to miss time during the regular season. With Malkin and Kris Letang coming into camp with shiny new contracts, spirits will be high as the core group begins their quest for a fourth Stanley Cup.

There isn't much to prove for these players at camp, but there are still decisions to be made around them. First and foremost, who will be on their lines to start the season? 

It's almost guaranteed that Jake Guentzel will play with Crosby, but the right side of the Penguin's top line could be one of several options. Rickard Rakell looked great in short stints with the first line after being acquired from the Ducks last spring, but Bryan Rust has shown his steadiness and ability to score in bunched alongside the Penguin's top duo. 

It's a good problem to have as the players who do not earn the first line spots will move down to play with Malkin, another eventual hall of fame selection. With most of the forward lineup returning from last season, head coach Mike Sullivan will enter camp with a pretty good idea of what he has.

The Penguin's power play offers another question. After finishing 19th on the man advantage during the regular season, the Penguins failed to capitalize on multiple chances in the playoffs. Will the Penguins recently re-signed power play coach Todd Reirden chance his philosophy, or will they stick to the current power play plan?

The Penguins players in position battles will garner most of the coach's attention. But for the big guns, it offers an opportunity to gear up for another season searching for Stanley Cup number four.

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