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Projecting the Penguins Opening Game Lineup

What will the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup look like to start the season?

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ron Hextall has had a busy off-season. Making 14 contract signings and completing two trades, the man in charge has transformed the Penguin's salary cap situation to allow for more flexibility heading into next season. Despite there possibly being another move in the hopper for Hextall, let's try and piece together the opening night roster.

Heading into the summer, the only Penguins top-six forwards under contract were Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, and Jason Zucker. Hextall brought back most of the forward lineup from last season, opting to "run it back" with a forward core that fell short in Game 7 against the New York Rangers.

The top-six filled out with the re-signing of Evgeni Malkin, Rickard Rakell, and Bryan Rust to multi-year extensions. More recently, the Penguins brought back forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Danton Heinen to add scoring depth to the team's bottom six.

While the forward core is nearly identical to last season, the reserves and injury replacements feature multiple new names and faces. Which forward will earn the final spot in the Penguin's opening forward lineup?

Hextall and the Penguins completely revamped the blue line and could still have a move left to make. The team has nine NHL-caliber defensemen on the current roster after bringing three in over the past month. The Penguins traded away John Marino and Mike Matheson in two different deals, bringing back Ty Smith, Jeff Petry, and Ryan Poehling. How could the Penguins lineup when they face the Arizona Coyotes on October 13th at PPG Paints Arena?

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