This Offseason Could Be Unpleasant
It may be less than 24 hours since the Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated in embarrassing fashion by the Boston Bruins, but I’m over it.
I’ve had enough time since Game Two to realize that this could and likely would become a short series, and it’s time to move on.
As a result, however, general manager Ray Shero has some serious planning to do.
Some might say it would be reactionary to make any drastic changes, given that the Penguins advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. But the decision to make drastic, unpleasant changes should be made as a result of the playoff results of four consecutive seasons.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Penguins were eliminated in the playoffs by a lower-ranked team, and in this instance, the Penguins were built with an incredible amount of star-power that created a “Cup or bust” scenario.
They didn’t win the Stanley Cup, and their performance clearly can be considered a bust.
Over the next few weeks, leading up to the NHL Entry Draft and the first day of free agency — two dates the involve significant player movement — Joshua Neal and I will tweak “Lacing Up” to focus on individuals in precarious situations.
Among those who could be on the move are coach Dan Bylsma and his staff, Kris Letang, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jarome Iginla, and, yes, possibly even Evgeni Malkin.
While Malkin seems highly unlikely and maybe even unthinkable, the team has left Shero with no choice but to reconsider the structure of this roster.
It might be sad or emotional to see certain individuals leave, but the ultimate goal is the Stanley Cup, and the Penguins have proven incapable of completing this task, despite being perennial favorites to do so.
At some point, something has to give, and I strongly believe we’ve reached that point.
Make no mistake about it, this offseason has the potential to be extremely unpleasant, but if the results are a more balanced and success team, I’m all for it.