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NHL Pittsburgh Penguins

5 Questions Pittsburgh Penguins Must Answer By October

5 Questions the Pittsburgh Penguins Must Answer By October

Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang
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The Pittsburgh Penguins have been busier than usual this offseason. The franchise has accomplished a fair amount to assure that the men in black and gold will be real contenders come October, but a few specifics remain murky. Here are five questions the Penguins must answer by the start of the regular season.

5. Will The Penguins Have a Reliable Backup Goaltender?

Marc-Andre Fleury
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5. Will The Penguins Have a Reliable Backup Goaltender?

Marc-Andre Fleury
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The Penguins have added goaltending depth, but quantity isn't always better than quality. With all the skilled netminders floating around in the free agent pool, we can only hope that Rutherford's decision to sign Thomas Greiss (who will be competing against Jeff Zatkoff for the backup position) was the right choice.

4. What is Brandon Sutter’s Fate?

Brandon Sutter
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4. What is Brandon Sutter’s Fate?

Brandon Sutter
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It is now August and Sutter has yet to be re-signed. It is more than likely that Sutter will agree on a contract sometimes soon, but it has taken both Sutter and Rutherford a daunting amount of time to hammer out a consensus.

3. Who Will Play Alongside Sidney Crosby?

Sidney Crosby Chris Kunitz
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3. Who Will Play Alongside Sidney Crosby?

Pittsburgh Penguins
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The amount of players who can play on Crosby's right side is minimal. If the Penguins' star prospect Kasperi Kapanen does not make his NHL debut at the beginning of the season, then we will most likely see Pascal Dupuis in his old spot or see the newly acquired "bad boy" Steve Downie take over.

2. Will Sidney Crosby’s Wrist Injury Affect His Performance?

Sidney Crosby
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2. Will Sidney Crosby’s Wrist Injury Affect His Performance?

Sidney Crosby
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Crosby endured a wrist injury towards the end of the season but has been able to avoid surgery. Crosby will continue to rehabilitate his wrist, but was opting out of surgery the right decision? All we can do is hope that the best possible course of action was taken and Crosby's injury will not cripple his performance or -- even worse -- intensify.

1. Has Jim Rutherford Done Enough?

Jim Rutherford
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1. Has Jim Rutherford Done Enough?

Jim Rutherford
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Since Rutherford was named general manager, he has replaced the coaching staff, traded away James Neal, refurbished their roster, and brought analytics into the equation. A Stanley Cup winning team can't be constructed overnight, but it looks like Rutherford is moving the Penguins in the right direction.

Amanda Sklarek is a Pittsburgh Penguins/NHL writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandabukowski, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.