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Ranking the Penguins Amongst the Top NHL Core Units

How high does the Pittsburgh Penguins core rank amongst the NHL's best?

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been fortunate to have one of the best cores in hockey over the past 16 seasons. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang have combined to win three Stanley Cup Championships and countless other awards. But where do they rank amongst the best cores heading into next season?

Despite their age, the Penguins trio is still one of the top leadership groups in the NHL. Letang is coming off a career season at the age of 34. Crosby collected over a point per game despite missing the beginning of the season with a wrist injury and COVID. And Malkin was one of the most dominant players for the Penguins during the second half of the season.

Some other teams in the "best cores" conversation are the Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and Edmonton Oilers. While a team like the Oilers may not boast the most depth, their top talent (Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl) moves them up the list.

While core groups such as the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks are starting to fall out of the top tier, others like the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils could be on the verge of climbing into the top ten by the end of the season. 

The Penguins core of Crosby, Malkin, and Letang remain one of the best trios in the league heading into 2022-23, and Penguins fans will be lucky to watch them wind down their historic careers in Pittsburgh over the next few seasons.

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