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Carter talks about next season while Sullivan talks about where he'll play

April 13, 2021, 12:50 PM ET [65 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Some updates from both Jeff Carter and Mike Sullivan today:

Jeff Carter met with the media for the first time as a Penguin and he had a few things to say of note. The first thing is pretty notable and it is Carter’s intention to play in the NHL next season. There were some rumblings he might consider retiring (which would actually give the Penguins a cap benefit), but his intentions are to play another year. This effectively does not make Carter a rental player.

Where does he plan on playing?

This year he has played more on the wing than at center. I like the idea of him playing on the right wing when the team is fully healthy (haha) because it opens up the possibility of creating a new scoring line. There are a few different ways you could go about it, but the common theme is that I would be taking Teddy Blueger away from Zach Aston-Reese and Brandon Tanev. Freddy Gaudreau would take over centering Aston-Reese and Tanev. Evan Rodrigues would be a quality 13th forward.


You could also flip McCann and Zucker although Zucker and Malkin weren’t terrific this year together. You could also try Blueger at the wing which is something I believe Ron Hextall mentioned in passing earlier in the month. I don’t think this is a likely option, but an option none the less. One combination would have McCann centering Zucker and Carter with Blueger jumping up with Malkin. Another could be Zucker going back with Malkin and Blueger on the wing with McCann at center, this is the one I think is least likely, though.

I think the best one is the first one with McCann staying with Malkin and keeping Zucker away from Geno. I like Blueger getting the option of playing in an offensive role.

However, the team isn’t healthy right now. Freddy Gaudreau is now week to week with an injury so there is a need at center with Evgeni Malkin still missing at action. So it appears Carter will be moved to center to start.

One of the positives about acquiring Jeff Carter is the fact he can play both wing and center. This flexibility helps with navigating the endless stream of injuries this team consistently faces every season it seems. Carter being another capable center means Mark Jankowski will have to jump yet another player to get game action and that is a good thing.

Other injury news…

Malkin continues to skate and the good news here is that Kapanen started to skate. Kapanen will probably be the player who makes their return to the lineup first. We know Brandon Tanev is out until the playoffs so no change there.

Thanks for reading!
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