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NHL Pittsburgh Penguins

5 Biggest Pittsburgh Penguins Rumors Heading Into The Offseason

5 Biggest Pittsburgh Penguins Rumors Heading Into The Offseason

Pittsburgh Penguins Rumors
Andy Marlin - USA Today

After the Pittsburgh Penguins blew their shot at a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals for the fifth straight year, they are seeking change. The Penguins have already made big changes to their management and head coach, and you can expect them to make some changes to their roster as well. Here are five rumors making rounds around the league.

5. Jussi Jokinen

Jussi Jokinen Pittsburgh Penguins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today

5. Jussi Jokinen

Jussi Jokinen Pittsburgh Penguins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today

Jussi Jokinen became an integral part of the Penguins, most notably in shootouts. However, because of the hiring of new general manager Jim Rutherford, his future remains murky. Rutherford was general manager for the Carolina Hurricanes when Jokinen was on the team and put on waivers. Being a hot, unrestricted free agent and possibly still having resentment towards Rutherford, Jokinen could be going elsewhere.

4. Matt Niskanen

Matt Niskanen Pittsburgh Penguins
Brad Rempel - USA Today

4. Matt Niskanen

Matt Niskanen Pittsburgh Penguins
Brad Rempel - USA Today

Posting 46 points during the regular season, Matt Niskanen proved to be a fantastic player for the Penguins. This unrestricted free agent could be a crucial part of the Penguins’ defense if signed again. He is a talented, young player with a lot of energy, and someone the Penguins need to think about trying to keep around.

3. Brooks Orpik

Brooks Orpik Pittsburgh Penguins
Greg Bartram - USA Today

3. Brooks Orpik

Brooks Orpik Pittsburgh Penguins
Greg Bartram - USA Today

Brooks Orpik is another defenseman whose name has made its way around the rumor mill. He is an unrestricted free agent this year, and has been gaining a lot of attention from other teams. Although he has been a great player for the Penguins, his performance has declined the past few years. If the Penguins want to free up salary cap space and secure a younger defenseman like Matt Niskanen, then they should really think about letting Orpik go.

2. James Neal

James Neal Pittsburgh Penguins
Charles LeClaire

2. James Neal

James Neal Pittsburgh Penguins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today

The trade rumors began when it was said that James Neal personally asked to be traded. He has since then denied these claims, but the rumors haven't stopped there. Neal is a fantastic player during the regular season, but he lacks any sort of positive contribution to his team during the postseason. The Penguins still have Neal for four more years, but trading him could be a great way to free up cap space and freshen up their top lines.

1. Marc-Andre Fleury

Marc Andre Fleury Pittsburgh Penguins
Adam Hunger - USA Today

1. Marc-Andre Fleury

Marc Andre Fleury Pittsburgh Penguins
Adam Hunger - USA Today

After bombing in the playoffs for the past five years, rumors of Marc-Andre Fleury being traded are inevitable at this point. Although he is a solid goalie in the regular season and it wasn’t completely his fault for his team blowing a 3-1 lead in the second round of the playoffs last season, he still played a part in it. If the Penguins want to look for a solid goalie elsewhere, then the time to do it is now.